By Rajnish SinghNew Delhi [India], September 20 (ANI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a case and began a probe linked to a Karachi-bound Chinese vessel that arrived in Gujarat' Kandla port last year with "autoclave equipment", which is used to manufacture nuclear-capable ballistic missiles as a dryer and can be used for both industrial and military purposes, sources said on Monday.
An official source told ANI that the NIA filed the case on September 17 following Home Ministry orders.
The merchant vessel 'Da Cui Yun', which carried a Hong Kong flag, had been detained by Indian customs officials at Deendayal Port, formerly known as Kandla Port, for allegedly carrying an autoclave, and also misdeclaring it. The ship reached Kandla on February 3, 2020, and managed to leave Indian shores on the intervening night of February 4 and 5 to its final destination, Port Qasim in Karachi.
The ship was detained for wrongly declaring autoclave equipment.
Customs officials seized the cargo from the vessel and offloaded 2,480 tonnes of machinery after its arrival at Kandla port.
Later, Intelligence agencies along with teams of Customs and Defence Research, Development Organisation (DRDO) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had examined the cargo.
Sources said that the agencies in their initial investigation suggested that the material which was destined to Pakistan through the Chinese ship was of dual-purpose use and can be used to make destructive items or missiles.
Investigative officials suspected that the equipment found on the vessel might be designed to be used in the aerospace industry to manufacture ballistic missiles.
The vessel had sailed from the port of Jiangyin, the People's Republic of China on January 17, 2020.
Officials said that prima facie it appears the vessel violated the Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies (Scomet) regulations. (ANI)