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Indian Navy Captures Hijacked Vessel Off Mumbai Coast

PTI 15 Aug 2011, 12:20:58 IST

Mumbai, August 15: The Indian Navy has captured a hijacked Iranian flagged vessel off the Mumbai coast following intelligence inputs that it may be carrying arms, ammunition and contraband, officials said on Monday.

The ill-fated vessel ‘Nafis-I' was intercepted on Sunday and all persons on board have been detained, they said, adding it is not yet clear as to how many of them were pirates and crew members.

Two AK -47 rifles and a pistol concealed in an empty fuel tank of the ship have been found, they said.

Following intelligence inputs, the vessel was located by a naval maritime reconnaissance aircraft on August 12 in the high seas after which it was kept under continuous surveillance.

Subsequently, INS Mysore, a guided missile destroyer, was sent to intercept the hijacked vessel along with two helicopters and 24 marine commandos, the officials said.

The vessel was intercepted approximately 170 nautical miles, off west Mumbai after the Navy launched its operations.

The vessel is being towed to Porbandar, where the people on board will be handed over to the police, officials said.

The statements of those onboard have revealed that the vessel had left from Chah Bahar in Iran and had travelled to an undisclosed location in July after which it was intercepted by the Navy in the Arabian waters, they said. PTI