Ship from China to Pak stopped in Mumbai; Indian agencies suspect nuclear link | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Ship from China to Pakistan stopped at Mumbai port; Indian agencies suspect nuclear link

Mar 02, 2024 06:15 PM IST

Karachi-bound ship from China stopped at Mumbai port as Indian agencies suspect a dual-use consignment that could aid Pakistan's nuclear programme

Indian security agencies stopped a Karachi-bound ship from China at Mumbai's Nhava Sheva port suspecting a dual-use consignment that could aid Pakistan's nuclear and ballistic missile programme, officials said on Saturday, reported PTI.

Ship suspected to contain dual-use consignment for Pak's nuclear programme stopped at Mumbai port(PTI)
Ship suspected to contain dual-use consignment for Pak's nuclear programme stopped at Mumbai port(PTI)

Customs officials, acting on intelligence input, intercepted the Malta-flagged merchant ship, CMA CGM Attila, en route to Karachi on January 23. The consignment, featuring a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine manufactured by an Italian company, was thoroughly inspected during the operation.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

ALSO READ- Karnataka MLA BK Hariprasad stands by his statement: ‘Pakistan enemy of BJP, not…’

What are CNC machines?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine is a manufacturing device where computer software guides the movement of factory tools and machinery. This technology controls various complex machinery like grinders, lathes, mills, and CNC routers.

CNC machines ensure a level of efficiency, consistency, and accuracy that is unattainable through manual operation.

Concerns about CNC machines in nuclear programmes

Since 1996, CNC machines have been covered by the Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime aiming to prevent the spread of equipment with both civilian and military applications.

India, one of the 42 member countries, participates in the exchange of information regarding transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods and technologies.

The CNC machine was employed by North Korea in its nuclear programme.

A team from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) examined the consignment and verified its potential use in the neighbouring country's nuclear programme.

Officials said that the seizure aligns with efforts to prevent potential proliferation by Pakistan and China.

ALSO READ- Pakistan's newly elected assembly meets amid pro-Imran Khan protests

The consignment was coming from China

The consignment, originating from China, detailed the consigner as "Shanghai JXE Global Logistics Co Ltd" and the consignee as "Pakistan Wings Pvt Ltd" in Sialkot, according to documents such as bills of loading. However, a more in-depth probe by security agencies revealed that the 22,180-kilogram consignment was shipped by Taiyuan Mining Import and Export Co Ltd, intended for Cosmos Engineering in Pakistan.

ALSO READ- India flags 3 ‘reds’ in befitting reply to Pakistan at UN Human Rights Council

Cosmos Engineering is already on watchlist

Cosmos Engineering, a Pakistani defence supplier, has been under scrutiny since March 12, 2022, when Indian authorities intercepted a shipment of Italian-made thermoelectric instruments at the Nhava Sheva port.

ALSO READ- Day after Putin's nuke war warning, Russia tests nuclear ballistic Yars missile

Officials expressed concerns about Pakistan potentially using China as a conduit to obtain restricted items from Europe and the US, disguising identities to avoid detection. Worries have heightened over Chinese support for Pakistan's nuclear and missile programmes, highlighted by a 2020 case involving the concealment of an industrial autoclave, crucial for missile production, as industrial equipment on a Chinese vessel bound for Pakistan.

The ongoing investigation seeks to determine if the suspected Pakistani entities receiving these dual-use items are supplying them to the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DESTO), responsible for much of Pakistan's defence research and development.

(Inputs from PTI)

Discover the complete story of India's general elections on our exclusive Elections Product! Access all the content absolutely free on the HT App. Download now!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Election 2024 Date along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
Share this article

    Follow the latest breaking news and developments from India and around the world with Hindustan Times' newsdesk. From politics and policies to the economy and the environment, from local issues to national events and global affairs, we've got you covered.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, April 22, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On