At least three cargo vessels brought to be broken at Alang ship-breaking yard in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district have been seized by the Customs department and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) after the vessels were found to be operating with forged documents.
The vessels MV Sea Golden, MV Coral and MV Harriet have been detained at the Bhavnagar anchorage. While Sea Golden and Coral arrived on December 5, Harriet came on December 9. “All three are merchant vessels and have been seized by the customs and DRI at the anchorage,” said a senior official from Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), which manages ship-breaking activities at Alang.
While MV Harriet, detained by the DRI, has “UN sanctions” and all its documents were found to be forged, the other two vessels, detained by the customs, were found to have wrong International Maritime Organization (IMO) numbers, which are crucial identification numbers assigned to a ship during the construction of its hull.
While officials did not elaborate on the UN sanctions, customs officials said the IMO numbers of two of the cargo vessels were found to be fake during mandatory checks conducted by the authorities. “Two ships have been seized by customs. The IMO numbers of Sea Golden and Coral also do not match. These vessels will now be confiscated,” a senior customs department official added.