Indian Coast Guard Intercept 2 Suspicious Foreign Vessels

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Gujarat: Ensuring tight safety, Indian Coast guard on patrol intercepted suspicious foreign vessels that were not scheduled to enter any Indian port, reached Gujarat coastline.

In a span of twenty days, Indian coast guard units on patrol intercepted two suspicious foreign flag vessels off the Gujarat coast. Both these vessels had departed foreign ports and were not scheduled to enter any Indian port.

Earlier on 10 July, Indian Coast Guard Dornier aircraft, on surveillance mission, sighted an unfamiliar boat adrift at sea. The aircraft immediately informed the Coast Guard Ship, Samudra Prahari in area for investigation.

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The boat Al Bome Marize from Yemen was intercepted and boarded by Coast Guard Team at sea. Initial investigations revealed that the foreign boat with six crew members (3 from Yemen, 2 from Tanzania and 1 from Somalia), had developed an engine problem, while operating off Yemen Coast and had drifted since then.

The boat was thoroughly searched for any illegal contraband or consignment. Thereafter, the boat was towed to Porbandar by Coast Guard Ship for joint investigation by a Joint interrogation team which presently is in progress to verify crew credentials.

A Thuraya set and two GPS sets were also recovered from the vessel.

On 22 June, a Dhow MSV AL Ariz was intercepted by Coast Guard ship while maneuvering suspiciously off Gulf of Kutch and not replying on VHF. The Dhow loaded with sugar, cement, rice and five used cars had departed from Sharjah, UAE on 21 May for passage to Mukalla port inYemen. The dhow with 11 Indian crew members was investigated and then escorted by Coast Guard Ship to Mundra for joint investigation and rummaging.

During interrogation, the master stated that he decided to head towards Indian Coast for shelter due to inclement weather. It also emerged that the AIS and Thuraya sets were switched off during the passage

The crew along with ten mobile phones and two GPS sets has been handed over to Police and Custom by Coast Guard.

A thorough investigation and analysis by a Joint team of Coast Guard, Police, IB and Customs is in progress.

The Coastal security has been appreciated on successful forbidding of these vessels and the proactive approach of the Coast Guards in ensuring surveillance of coastal areas.