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36 drones disguised as toys seized from JNPT in Mumbai

Acting on a specific intelligence, the officers of the DRI, Nhava Sheva regional unit seized remotely piloted aircraft, more popularly known as drones.

mumbai Updated: Jun 10, 2018 00:50 IST
Pratik Salunkhe
Pratik Salunkhe
Hindustan Times
drones,nhava sheva,DRI
One of the drones seized from Nhava Sheva. (HT Photo)

Thirty-six drones worth ₹14.11 lakh, which were being smuggled into the country, were seized on Friday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, also known as Nhava Sheva.

Acting on a specific intelligence tip-off, officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Nhava Sheva regional unit seized 36 remotely piloted aircraft, more popularly known as drones.

“The drones were attempted to be smuggled into the country by concealing them in a consignment of children’s toys and were being imported to Trans India Logistics Park Custom Freight Station in Raigad,” said a senior DRI officer.

The agency is investigating its origin and the ones involved in smuggling these drones.

The directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA), India’s aviation regulator, had issued a notification in October 2014 prohibiting the use of drones without permission. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) also made the import of drones restricted from a policy angle and it requires prior clearance from DGCA and an import license from DGFT.

“In a city like Mumbai, which has several tactical and military installations like Indian Navy, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Oil Refineries and an international airport, seizure of drones is alarming,” said the officer.

In April this year, the MRA Marg police had booked two people for flying a drone within city limits. They were caught flying the drone at Ram Gulab Marg in Ballard Pier at around 10pm.

Mangesh K, a police constable at MRA Marg police station, was on night patrol duty in the area, when he noticed the two accused Huzefa Idris Muktiyar, 26, and Yusuf Firoz Lokhandwala, 26 flying drones.

When asked if they had any permission for flying drones, they said that they had purchased it for ₹1,200 and were doing it for fun.

First Published: Jun 10, 2018 00:49 IST