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Indian Coast Guard detains DPRK ship: report

The Coast Guard of India Thursday detained a "suspicious" ship from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which had dropped anchor off Hut Bay in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands southeast to the Bay of Bengal, said local newspaper Times of India electronic edition today.

Officials of Army intelligence, Intelligence Bureau and other agencies are inspecting the ship and interrogating its 39 occupants, said the report.

The newspaper quoted K. R. Nautiyal, an officer of the Coast Guard at Andaman and Nicobar Region, as saying that "several things were amiss" about merchant vessel MV Musen, which later declared that it was carrying 16,500 tons of sugar from Thailand to Umm Qasr in Iraq.

The merchant ship shouldn't have dropped anchor in the Indian island in the first place and it didn't respond to signals from the Coast Guard. The ship's log book was found to be vague, the report quoted the officer as saying.

Musen had dropped anchor off Hut Bay island Wednesday afternoon for which it had no permission. When Coast Guard ship Kanakalatha Barua approached it, Musen tried to escape, forcing coast guard men to fire in the air, according to the report.

The ship finally "obeyed", and was brought to Port Blair early on Thursday, according to the report.


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