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Coast Guard seizes Indian fishing boat with 'unauthorised cash' off Maharashtra coast

The operation revealed a 'carriage of Rs 11.46 lakh which was meant to be given to some Indian OSV (Offshore Supply Vessel) operating from offshore areas in return of smuggled diesel.
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 16:00 IST
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 16:00 IST

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New Delhi: The Indian Coast Guard has apprehended an Indian fishing boat with 'unauthorised cash' off Maharashtra coast, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

The operation revealed a 'carriage of Rs 11.46 lakh which was meant to be given to some Indian OSV (Offshore Supply Vessel) operating from offshore areas in return of smuggled diesel', the ministry said in a statement.

"The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has apprehended an Indian fishing boat carrying unauthorised cash, reported to be involved in the smuggling of diesel, 83 nautical miles (nm) northwest off Mumbai," it said.

The vessel was brought to Mumbai anchorage in the early hours of Wednesday. A joint investigation with Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Customs, and state police is being carried out to trace the linkages and to take further legal actions by respective agencies, officials said.

The suspected boat was located and boarded on the night of April 15.

Based on a tip-off from Customs, the ICG Regional Headquarters (West) had launched an operation, involving a sustained search during challenging night conditions amid considerable fishing and merchant traffic covering an area of 200 square miles including offshore development areas off Maharashtra coast, the statement said.

"In a coordinated operation, comprising a search by two ICG Fast Patrol Vessels and one Interceptor Boat, the suspected boat was located and boarded on the night of April 15," it added.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the boat, with five crew, departed Mandwa port on April 14 to "effect rendezvous with suspected Indian Offshore Supply Vessels (OSV) with an intent to smuggle diesel", the statement said.

It was found out that the boat was operating with modified holds to store fuel up to 20,000 litres and operating with "false/multiple identities", it said.

Correlation with available data on the suspect boat had indicated multiple discrepancies in vessel registration, the statement said.

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Published 17 April 2024, 16:00 IST

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