Unrep MSC to amphib

Friday, March 09, 2007

Container check finds weapons



Reported as Kochi arms haul tip of iceberg: Navy chief:
The seizure of a huge arms cache from a Karachi-bound ship in Kerala last week was "only the tip of the iceberg" and could be part of a bigger terrorist operation, the Indian Navy chief said on Tuesday.

"The recent discovery of rifles in a shipment of furniture cartons at Kochi on board a Karachi-bound ship and originating from Dubai is perhaps only the tip of the iceberg as far as these nefarious activities are concerned," Admiral Sureesh Mehta told the closing session of an international seminar on maritime trade and security here.

"As almost 90 percent of the world's trade is containerised and six of the top 10 container handling ports are located within Asia, this is an issue of regional concern," Mehta noted.

A senior naval officer attending the seminar said it was intriguing that the ship carrying the container from which the arms were seized was bound for Karachi via Kochi and Mumbai.

"This is a very intriguing routing and, in fact, this is what made the customs officials suspicious and led to the seizure," the officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
***
They said the container, which arrived Jan 4, contained 810 packets in 37 cartons. What has surprised them is each of the packets also has a copy of the Quran.
Not the first instance of maritime weapons smuggling, as noted
here

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