ICG into action mode, Myanmarese boat detained

S Vishnu Sharmaa, INN/Chennai, @Svs03

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is always ready to act at the right moment. This was proved once again recently when its personnel swung into action and apprehended Myanmarese boat containing contraband about 125 nautical miles east of Little Andaman.

Six people from Myanmar were also taken into custody in this regard. According to sources from Defence Ministry, swift sea – air coordinated operation led to the apprehension. Sources further said, a non-Indian vessel operating in east of Little Andaman came to the notice of a Coast Guard’s dornier aircraft.

The vessel was not responding on VHF, Indian Coast Guard Ship Aruna Asaf Ali was diverted to look into the matter. Coast Guard ship sighted the boat 125 nautical miles from Little Andaman by about 6 pm on 20 December. As the boat did not stop, Coast Guard Ship had to fire three warning shots in the air to force it to come to a halt.

Coast Guard personnel upon embarking the boat found it to be of Myanmarese origin and having six crew members in it. Various unidentified items were found in the boat which are suspected to be contraband. A total of 250 packets each weighing about 1 kilo each were found along with 106 packets each weighing 500 grams in the boat.

On carrying investigation with available drug detection kit it was found that the substance in the packets is banned drug Methaqualone. The crew did not produce any supporting document. The ship entered Port Blair along with the apprehended boat and crew on 8 am on 22 December.

Coast Guard sources say that this apprehension is second one to take place in the last three months by ICG on sea in Andaman and Nicobar region. Sustained efforts by ICG has resulted in apprehension of seven boats involved in violation of various laws within Indian Exclusive Economic Zone in last six months.

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