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Suspicious boat intercepted off Kerala, satellite communication set and Pakistan ID seized

Thiruvananthapuram: A suspicious foreign dhow with 12 Iranian crew on board was intercepted off Kerala coast on Sunday and detained by the Coast Guard and state police which recovered a satellite communication set and a Pakistani identity card from the vessel.

The dhow "Barooki" was intercepted by the Coast Guard(CG) and state police following intelligence inputs, off the coast of Alappuzha and brought to Vizhinjam here, the CG said.

 Suspicious boat intercepted off Kerala, satellite communication set and Pakistan ID seized

Representational image. Reuters

Thiruvananthapuram Police Commissioner H Venkatesh told PTI that various agencies, including RAW, were jointly involved in the investigation.

Police have registered a case, arrested the 12 crew, who had left Kalat in Iran on 25 May, and begun investigations, he said.

A "Thuraya satellite communication set and a Pakistani identity card were found during the search of the boat," the Coast Guard said.

State DGP T P Senkumar said investigation was on and the question of handing over the case to National Investigation Agency (NIA) does not arise as of now.

When asked if the NIA would take over the probe in the case, he said "As of now, the state police is investigating".

A CG release said that on 3 July Coast Guard received an input through Kerala Police, regarding movement of a 'suspicious fishing trawler' about 100 km west off Alapuzha.

"The boat was likely to be involved in transfer of high value contraband at high seas. On receipt of the information, Coast Guard Regional Headquarters analysed the situation and launched Dornier aircraft (from Kochi) for surveillance sorties," it said.

Besides, Coast Guard vessels Samar and Abhinav also set sail from Kochi at 'maximum speed' to carry out effective surveillance and interdict the suspect boat.

The dhow was sighted by the Dornier aircraft yesterday and CG ships, on being alerted, shadowed it, the release said.

After intercepting it, CG personnel boarded the boat and interrogated the crew, who said they had left Kalat on May 25.

A detailed investigation by the CG revealed that the position, features and crew details of the boat were matching with the intelligence inputs provided by the State Police.

The apprehended boat alongwith its crew was escorted to Vizhinjam Harbour and handed over to Police authorities this morning for further joint interrogation by state and central agencies.

Joint interrogation by Intelligence Bureau, local Police, State IB, scientific experts, Bomb Disposal Squad was in progress, police added.

PTI

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Updated Date: Jul 06, 2015 07:35:12 IST