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3 persons sneak into Mumbai on Kuwaiti vessel, probe launched

The Kuwaiti vessel's unnoticed arrival in India’s financial capital is viewed as a major oversight by the Navy and Coast Guard, despite extensive patrols by Naval and Coast Guard Dornier aircraft, as well as the Navy’s P-8i aircraft

According to a report published in the Hindustan Times, a leading New Delhi-based English newspaper, three individuals from Kanyakumari, who are employed in Kuwait, were detained on Tuesday morning near Prong’s Lighthouse off Mumbai for traveling in a Kuwaiti vessel without permission, as stated by the police.

The individuals were intercepted by the crew of the Chaitrali patrol boat from the Yellow Gate police station and were handed over to Colaba police, reports said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ports, Sanjay Latkar told the newspaper, “During our patrol on Tuesday morning, we discovered three individuals aboard a Kuwaiti boat near Prong’s Lighthouse. They confessed to being from Kanyakumari, employed in Kuwait, but decided to escape due to unpaid wages and lack of food for nearly two years. Their passports were confiscated by their employers. Using GPS, they navigated to Mumbai in ten days. After examination by our crew, they were handed over to the Colaba police.”

Latkar mentioned that the trio asserted they underwent checks twice while en route to Mumbai.
Communication with the Colaba police was impeded by language barriers as the three individuals were unable to converse in Hindi, Marathi, or English.

The Kuwaiti vessel’s unnoticed arrival in Mumbai is viewed as a major oversight by the Navy and Coast Guard, despite extensive patrols by Naval and Coast Guard Dornier aircraft, as well as the Navy’s P-8i aircraft, the newspaper reported.

The Indian paper reported that initially, naval sources asserted that they intercepted the vessel at Prongs Lighthouse before informing the police. However, DCP Latkar contradicted this, stating that the police halted the vessel and subsequently informed the Navy.

The naval spokesperson, avoiding any acknowledgment of a lapse, referred to the ongoing police investigation. Contacting Coast Guard Additional Director General West K. Suresh and Inspector General Bhisham Sharma proved unsuccessful, as their spokesperson mentioned they were on leave, the newspaper report said.

According to reports, the defence forces have always claimed that they scan seas thoroughly and their aircraft maintain vigil in the sea. But they had no answer as to how the Kuwaiti vessel could come so close to Mumbai from Kuwait without getting detected.

According to a report by the newspaper, last year, a yacht carrying arms was discovered off the coast of Raigad district. Despite being damaged in inclement weather, defense forces provided their rationale for the lapse in detecting this vessel.

A senior officer from the Mumbai Port Authority revealed that the vessel, measuring 30 meters in length, was intercepted by the Mumbai police. Following initial questioning, it was determined that the individuals could be transferred to the Yellow Gate police station. Notably, all three occupants possessed Aadhar cards, reported the Indian newspaper.

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