Indian Coast Guard Busts Illegal Diesel Smuggling Vessel Off Mumbai Coast

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) thwarted a major illegal diesel smuggling operation off the coast of Mumbai on Saturday, apprehending a fishing vessel and seizing a large cache of illicit fuel.

According to Coast Guard officials, the fishing vessel 'Aai Tuljai' with four crew members onboard was intercepted about 27 nautical miles southwest of Mumbai on May 12th. An ICG Fast Patrol Vessel and an Interceptor Boat carried out the operation after receiving intelligence about the suspected vessel's involvement in diesel smuggling activities.

During a thorough search of the vessel, authorities uncovered approximately 30,000 liters of illicit diesel concealed within its fish holds, estimated to be worth around Rs 30 lakh (around $37,000 USD). Additionally, a sum of Rs 1.75 lakh (around $2,150 USD) in unaccounted cash was also confiscated from the vessel.

Interrogation of the arrested crew members revealed their intent to illegally sell the smuggled diesel to unsuspecting fishermen operating in the area.

"This operation is a significant blow to the nexus of illegal diesel smugglers operating in our maritime domain," said a senior ICG officer involved in the operation. "We remain committed to ensuring the security of our waters and cracking down on such nefarious activities."

The apprehended vessel was escorted to the Mumbai harbor by an ICG Interceptor Boat, where it was handed over to the authorities of the Department of Customs for further investigation and legal proceedings.

In a coordinated effort, other agencies such as the Police, Fisheries Department, and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence were also involved to ensure a comprehensive crackdown on this maritime smuggling racket.

Illegal diesel smuggling has been a persistent issue in coastal regions, posing risks to the environment, economic security, and safety of legitimate maritime operations. Authorities have vowed to intensify efforts to combat such smuggling activities and protect India's territorial waters.


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