The merchant vessel that slipped out of the Mumbai port on Monday, was captured after a 15-hour chase in the Arabian Sea by the Navy and Coast Guard.
The Bahamas-flagged merchant vessel, MV Dynamic Striker, carrying coal worth $60 billion for Ispat Industries Limited, had come from Croatia and was anchored at the Mumbai port on October 29.
Coast Guard sources said the cargo was not unloaded because ISPAT had not paid for the consignment till Monday.
“At 3.30pm on Monday, ISPAT Industries transferred the payment to the agents of the vessel,” said inspector general of Coast Guard, SPS Basra. But, at 4.30 pm the vessel suddenly set sail without unloading the cargo or informing the concerned authorities.
Ispat Industries did not respond to queries via e-mail or to repeated phone calls.
Ispat approached Yellow Gate police station and registered a complaint. The police informed the Coast Guards which sent out the ship ICGS Amrit Kaur to locate the ship. A Dornier aircraft from Coast Guards station at Daman was also sent. “The vessel was located around 7.30 pm, but did not respond to messages from the aircraft,” Basra said.
The vessel later switched off all communication systems, and increased its speed from 12 knots to 40 knots. The Coast Guards then alerted the Navy, which sent INS Agray to intercept the ship, which it did around 10.30 am. But, no action could be initiated as the ship had switched off its communication network, Navy sources said.