I-Day scare: Navy intercepts suspicious ship off Mumbai, recovers weapons

August 15th, 2011 - 12:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 15 (IANS) The Indian Navy intercepted a suspicious ship in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai late Sunday night and recovered some arms from the vessel, an official said here Monday.

The vessel, M.V. Nafis, said to be of Iranian origin, was sighted moving around in a questionable manner Aug 12 by a coastal patrol boat which alerted the shore authorities.

Coming barely four days before the country’s Independence Day celebrations, the vessel was immediately placed under surveillance by naval aircraft, the official informed.

After observing it for nearly 48 hours, the Indian Navy destroyer INS Mysore was finally deployed to track and intercept the vessel.

Late Sunday night, it was intercepted by INS Mysore around 170 nautical miles off the Mumbai coast.

Naval personnel who boarded the M.V. Nafis found 21 sailors on board and recovered two AK-47 assault rifles and a pistol.

“This (Monday) morning, the intercepted ship is being towed to Porbander port in Gujarat. We are making further investigations into the ship’s origins, its movements close to the Indian shores and also the crew,” the official told IANS.

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