A ship named Da Cui Yan, with the Hong Kong flag started from a port on the Yangtze River in China’s Jiangsu province with a crew of 22, headed for Port Qasim in Karachi.
It docked at Deendayal Port (earlier called Kandla port) in Gujarat during its journey. There it declared its cargo as an industrial dryer.
However, based on intelligence inputs and then detailed inspection, the cargo turned out to be an autoclave, which is used in the launch process of ballistic missiles.
The ship was even given the “no-objection” to go onwards, until a team from the intelligence agencies came over to seize it.
Kandla Port authorities issued the crucial “no-objection certificate” after verifying it had no dues as per the norm. An “onward-sailing memo” was issued for February 4, a second senior port official said on condition of anonymity. A pilot to guide the 166.6-metre-long 20,949-tonne ship out of the harbour was put on standby at the request of the MV Da Cui Yun. “Suddenly, however, there was a flurry of activity. Senior Kandla Port officials got calls from New Delhi. Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and other security agencies reached Kandla,” the second official added.Hindustan Times
Now the DRDOs team is on site to do the investigations.
If the second team upholds the findings of the first team then the ship would be seized for violation of the Special Chemical, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies export regulations.(source)
What is most worrisome is that such a ship with high-security cargo would dock at such a sensitive port for India while en-route to the largest port in Pakistan.
The matter has been shared with the highest in the security administration in India.
This should make all security officials pause and think. What if such a ship carried weapons to be offloaded at the port or via a small boat that was remote maneuvered to some other destination on the Indian coast, or simply dumped in the shallow waters? Purulia 2.0?
More importantly, it brings out the fears that created the 26/11 situation itself!
Kudos to the intelligence agencies for getting the detailed intelligence input – from the Chinese or Pakistani end? – and seizing the cargo for further investigation and understanding of how and why it may be used against India. This can give vital inputs for understanding their future terror/aggression plans. Of course, this also highlights the lack of proper procedures and warning systems at the ports and major areas of Indian security places.
This incident, though kept low key, may turn out to be important in terms of future actions by the ISI/Pak Army establishment. Thus the significance of the intelligence input.
Featured Image: Merchant vessel MV Da Cui Yun.(File photo/ALAmy)