Karachi-bound Ship carrying arms being brought to Kolkata | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Karachi-bound Ship carrying arms being brought to Kolkata

The Karachi-bound ship that was intercepted on the Hooghly carrying rocket launchers, smoke bombs and anti-aircraft guns, apart from other sophisticated arms and ammunition, set sail today for the Kolkata dock amid tight security.

kolkata Updated: Jun 27, 2010 17:55 IST

A Karachi-bound ship, intercepted on the Hooghly with arms and ammunition used by multi-nation troops in a UN peacekeeping mission, set sail on Sunday for the Kolkata dock amid tight security.

A senior police official said the Liberia-registered 'Aegean Glory', carrying rocket launchers, smoke bombs and anti-aircraft guns, apart from other sophisticated arms and ammunition, is being brought to the Kolkata dock for a thorough investigation.

The vessel was intercepted on the Hooghly on Friday as it had not furnished the declaration documents necessary for carrying the arms and explosives.

At the Kolkata dock, the customs officials will open the container cargo to ascertain its contents.

The officials will tally the weapons in the container with the list made by the security officials after interrogation of the captain of the ship, West Bengal Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh said.

"The state Intelligence Branch officials have contacted the New York-based Movement Control officials of the UN Mission to get detailed information about the ship," he added.

"We are awaiting a response from the UN officials," Bhupinder Singh told IANS.

"If any discrepancies are found, legal action will be taken against the owner of the ship and the crew members," the police chief said.

He said the vessel was slated to unload the military cargo at different ports to return the weapons of the nations that participated in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) that began in 2003 to contain the conflict arising out of the second Liberian civil war.

The 152.35 metre-long vessel loaded the military cargo at Monrovia port in Liberia, started its journey May 17 and sailed to Port Louis in Mauritius June 4.

The ship unloaded a part of its military cargo first at St. Louis and then at Cox Bazar port near Chittagong in Bangladesh," Bhupinder Singh said after the security agencies quizzed the captain and the 19 crew members, who are from Greece, Romania and Ukraine.

It set sail for Kolkata dock to unload some military cargo that belongs to the Nepal Army, he added.

The documents seized from the Greek captain, however, had no mention of Pakistan, where the vessel was to sail finally to unload the remaining cargo, the DGP said.

"The rest of the military cargo, including rocket launchers, smoke bombs and anti-aircraft guns, apart from other sophisticated arms and ammunition, was meant for a Karachi-based Major-rank officer, Khalasulla Khan. But this was not mentioned in the documents," he said.

All the security agencies concerned and the ministries of external affairs, defence and home were alerted after the interception of the ship.