Coast Guard detains fishing vessel off Maharashtra coast; 5 tons of smuggled diesel seized

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New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Thursday detained a fishing vessel with a five-member crew that was engaged in "diesel smuggling" off the Maharashtra coast, the defence ministry said.

In a statement, the ministry also said that five tons of unaccounted diesel, valued approximately Rs 27 lakh, was concealed in the fish hold along with a "small quantity of banned narcotic substance". These were seized upon a search, it said.

This successful operation marks another significant crackdown on diesel smuggling at sea by the ICG, with a total of 55,000 litres of unaccounted diesel seized in the last three days, it said.

The ICG "apprehended a five-man crew fishing vessel 'Jay Malhar' engaged in illegal diesel smuggling off the Maharashtra coast on May 16", the statement said.

The detained vessel was escorted to the Mumbai harbour. Its crew was interrogated by police, Customs and the fisheries department.

"Further investigation revealed that the crew had already sold 5,000 litres of fuel to fishermen at sea," it said. PTI KND ANB ANB