Coast Guard arrests 14 illegal sand miners from West Bengal, seizes 2 boats
The arrests took place after a brief chase of six boats that were carrying the illegal sand miners. While the 14 men have been arrested, two boats have been seized.Updated: Dec 30, 2018 10:39 IST
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
The Coast Guard on Saturday morning arrested 14 illegal sand miners off the coast of Mumbai. The arrests were carried out during routine patrolling on Saturday morning and using a hovercraft - H194 - stationed at Dahanu.
The arrests took place after a brief chase of six boats that were carrying the illegal sand miners. While the 14 men have been arrested, two boats have been seized. The other four boats managed to escape, Commandant Avinandan Mitra, PRO, Coast Guard confirmed on Sunday.
The arrested men have been handed over to the Vasai Police and will be produced before the Vasai court on Sunday. The accused as well as the boats had no identification papers, no boat registration documents, color coding etc. The apprehended crew did not have any identification documents, biometric cards either.
A statement by the Coast Guard stated that there was no communication equipment onboard the two boats and that the boats were fully laden with sand.
The 14 arrested men claim to be from Murshidabad in West Bengal, and are not Bangladeshis as was claimed earlier, said Mitra. The boats were carrying illegaly mined sand from the seas and had no permission from the Revenue department to excavate sand.
The 14 arrested men have been identified as Abil Shaikh (25), Shafigul (27), Ahajit (33), Moinuddin (45), Shahiful(27), Mondal(28), J Mullah(40), Islam (35), B Shaikh(22), Shoful(27), N Mullah(45), Rafigul(19), Pinal(38), Ibrahim Shaikh (25), said Vasai Gaon police sources. The owner of one of the boat is said to be one Michael. More details are awaited, said police sources.
The rest of the accused in the four boats managed to escape in the thick mangroves near the Panju island police said. Search operations are underway to arrest the rest of them, said police.
First Published: Dec 30, 2018 10:38 IST