Boxes suspected of carrying radioactive cargo from Pak to China seized at Mundra

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on November 19, 2021

A representative image

Containers listed as empty and non-hazardous, had markings indicating radioactive substance

A joint team of the Customs and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized eight containers from a foreign vessel that had docked at at the Mundra Port on Thursday over concerns that they contained undeclared hazardous cargo, potentially radioactive substances.

The Customs-DRI team boarded the vessel (MV Shiling) at the port’s Container Terminal No 4.

The Singapore-flagged ship was coming from Karachi and heading to Malaysia. The containers were loaded at the Pakistani port and bound for Shanghai.

While the cargo manifest listed the containers as empty and non-hazardous, the boxes had Class 7 markings (which indicate radioactive substances).

Not for Indian ports

Although the containers were not destined for Mundra or any Indian port, authorities offloaded them for further inspection, Customs and DRI sources briefed on the operation, said.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), which runs the Mundra Port, confirmed the development and said it had extended all assistance for the operation. “The Adani Group takes national security very seriously and will not allow it to be compromised in any way. We will continue to fully assist any action that keeps India safe,” APSEZ said.

Heroin seizure

In September, the DRI seized had 2,988.21 kg of heroin at the Mundra Port, the flagship port of APSEZ. The narcotic substance was found in two containers stuffed with ‘semi-processed talc stones’ originating from Afghanistan and were shipped to Mundra via Iran’s Bandar Abbas port. The case is being pursued by the National Investigation Agency.

Following the heroin haul, APSEZ decided to stop handling export-import containerised cargo originating from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan at its ports from November 15.



Published on November 19, 2021

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