Security agencies seize Karachi-bound consignment from China of banned chemicals at TN port

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Chennai, July 11 (PTI) Security agencies have seized yet another Pakistan-bound consignment, consisting of internationally banned chemicals used for tear gas and riot control agents, from China at a port in Tamil Nadu, officials said here on Thursday.

According to officials, Pakistan is allegedly working on an offensive chemical and biological warfare program with the help of its 'all-weather friend' China.

The officials said that the Chinese firm, Chengdu Shichen Trading Co. Ltd, had shipped a consignment of "Ortho-Chloro Benzylidene Malononitrile" to Rohail Enterprises, a Rawalpindi-based Defence supplier.

The consignment, weighing about 2560 kgs, was stored in 103 drums of 25 kgs each and loaded into a carrier vessel Hyundai Shanghai (sailing under Cyprus flag), on April 18, 2024, at Shanghai Port, China, they said.

The Karachi-bound vessel reached Kattupalli Port (Tamil Nadu) on May 08, 2024.

The Customs authorities on routine checking detained the consignment as the chemical's name figured under India's export control list 'SCOMET' as a controlled substance, officials said.

After seeking assistance from experts, and investigating the chemical, it was found that it was Ortho-Chloro Benzylidene Malononitrile (CS), a listed substance under the Wassenaar Arrangement.

While India is a signatory to the Wassenaar Arrangement, China and Pakistan are not.

Subsequently, the chemical consignment was seized under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005.

In March, security agencies at Mumbai's Nhava Sheva port intercepted and seized the consignment of a Karachi-bound ship from China after it was found carrying a dual-use consignment linked to Pakistan's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. PTI SKL PYK PYK

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