Investigating on the lines of a Hollywood movie, where diamonds are seized while being smuggled across borders by implanting them inside goats, the Yellow Gate police will now conduct X-rays on the goats seized from the suspicious dhow, MSV Yusufi.
The police suspect the five arrested on the dhow to be high-profile smugglers and are investigating whether they were smuggling any valuables under the pretext of bringing goats and other goods into the country.
Two of the 33 goats on the dhow have died, while one was eaten by the accused, police said.
The police said the five accused — 41 year-old Iqbal Hasan Umi, Ahmed Adam Paleza, 45, Yakub Abubakar Thakra, 43, Abdul Razzaq Usman Mandwani, 32, and Yunus Asam Bolim, 30, — are all natives of Mota Salaya in Bhuj district, Gujarat.
Four of the 30 goats were kept separately in captivity onboard the dhow and police officials have asked the BMC to take charge of the herd following a medical check-up. However, fearing spread of cattle disease from the foreign goats, the civic body has refused to take charge of them.
The police investigation has so far revealed that Umi had dumped the satellite phone into the sea after having spotted a Coast Guard helicopter hovering on the dhow late on Wednesday, about 5 nautical miles off the coast of Mumbai.
"We are now trying to get the details of the intercepted call and are questioning the accused in connection with the satellite phone that they used," said Krishna Prakash, additional commissioner of police (south region).
There were discrepancies in the documents — pertaining to the dhow, their identity and others — that were found from the accused arrested onboard the dhow, the police said.
The officials believe that consignment was on its way to Hay Bundar for a man named Usman Jaffer. Jaffer is believed to reside near Minara Masjid in south Mumbai. However, the police did not find Jaffer at that address.
The accused have been sent to five days police custody.