Foreign Currency

Indian Coast Guard Seizes Smuggled Diesel, Foreign Currency Worth ₹11.46 Lakh Off Mumbai Coast

Mumbai: A fishing vessel smuggling diesel on high seas was intercepted by Indian Coast Gaurd (IGC) off the Mumbai coast on Tuesday night and five crew arrested with foreign currency worth Rs 11.46 lakhs and 20000 litres of high speed diesel.

The Coast Guard West Regional Headquarters launched an operation based on intel inputs from customs to search for the suspect fishing vessel covering 200 square miles of the western coast of Maharashtra. ICG launched two CG Fast Patrol Vessel (FPVs) and an Interceptor Boat to track the suspect vessel in adverse weather conditions.

“it was a challenging task to find the suspect fishing vessel amidst considerable fishing and merchant traffic covering a vast area of 200 square miles including the offshore development areas off Maharashtra coast,” said Coast Gaurd spokesperson.

The ICG vessels managed to intercept the suspect fishing vessel 83 Nuatical Miles northwest Off Mumbai. The fishing boat with five crew members had left the Mandwa port on Sunday night for an alleged rendezvous with offshore supply vessels and commercial ships to purchase diesel at cheap rates and smuggle into India for retail sale.

The coast gaurd search and rummaging of the intercepted vessel led to several hidden and modified modified holds to store smuggled fuel up to 20000 liters and was operating with multiple false identities.

“Correlation with available data on the suspect boat indicated multiple discrepancies in vessel registration. The rummaging operation led to seizure of foreign currencies of Rs 11.46 lakhs meant for purchase of discounted diesel from OSV operating from Offshore Areas,” added the Coast Gaurd spokesperson.

The fishing vessel was escorted to Mumbai anchorage early Wednesday morning for joint investigation with DRI, Customs and State police for further legal actions. Last week ICG Ship Savitribai Phule responded to the distress call of Indian Fishing Boat (IFB) Rosary that got stranded 215 nautical miles from Karwar was rescued in adverse sea conditions.

“The coast gaurd team boarded the adrift fishing vessel and tried to fix the seized engine rendered immobile. It was eventually towed to Karwar port by ICG vessel and handed over the owners,” said Coast Gaurd spokesperson.

Published on: Thursday, April 18, 2024, 02:57 AM IST

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