Monday, August 10, 2009

North Korean ship detained by Indian Coastguard

US Navy tracking possible weapons shipments
Shipping News Feature

INDIA – A suspicious North Korean vessel, the MV Mu San, was being held by Indian authorities after it dropped anchor in Hut Bay in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and failed to respond to signals from the coastguard.

As the drama unfolded shots were fired into the air as a warning. The Indians reportedly boarded the ship, which had moored illegally, and found “several things amiss” including an incomplete ships log.

The vessel is supposed to be carrying 16,500 tonnes of sugar from Thailand bound for Umm Qasr in Iraq but is believed to have been identified and monitored by the US Navy under their new programme to select suspect vessels and advise the appropriate authorities.

The MV Mu San failed to respond to a coastguard aircraft on VHF and a vessel was sent to intercept. When she arrived the Mu San attempted to leave the area and was boarded. She was found to have made an unreported stop in Singapore and to be heading for Myanmar.

The ship had 39 people on board and they will be interviewed today whilst the cargo is examined.

pic. Hut Bay Jetty