NIA takes over probe in suspicious Iranian boat case

Friday, Aug 7, 2015,20:30 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | National Investigation Agency has taken over probe in connection with a suspicious Iranian boat which was intercepted off Kerala coast on July 3 and led to recovery of a satellite phone and Pakistani identity card. The agency said it has taken over the probe on the orders of Home Ministry order and registered a case under sections three, seven of Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of Fishing by Foreign Vessels) Act, 1981 and under section 3(g) [as per Kerala Police FIR] of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002.
The case was probed by Vizhinjam Police Station, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. A suspicious foreign dhow with 12 Iranian crew on board was on July 3 intercepted off Kerala coast and detained by the Coast Guard and state police which recovered a satellite communication set and a Pakistani identity card from the crew of 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. Local Police had registered a case, arrested the 12 crew, who had left Kalat in Iran on May 25, and begun its probe.
The police had recovered a Thuraya satellite communication set and a Pakistani identity card were found during the search of the boat. Coast Guard (CG) had reportedly received an input through Kerala Police, regarding movement of a ‘suspicious fishing trawler’ about 100 km west off Alapuzha. Coast Guard Regional Headquarters analysed the situation and launched Dornier aircraft (from Kochi) for surveillance sorties.
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.