ATS takes over probe of vessels seized near Alang

The state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has taken over the investigations of the two cargo vessels seized by Customs near the Alang Ship Breaking Yard off the Bhavnagar coast a week ago.

"The investigation has been taken over by the ATS," said Bhavnagar Customs Assistant Commissioner Amit Gupta, adding, "We cannot divulge our findings."

ATS chief Ajay Kumar Tomar confirmed the development, but refused to share details of the investigation. "ATS has just begun the investigation. Let's see what comes out of it," he said.

Bhavnagar Customs officers had seized the two vessels — Malek and Luna-H—when they were heading towards the ship-breaking yard's plot numbers 40 (owned by Raju Bansal) and 103 (belonging to Honey Ship Breaking Company). The vessels had reportedly arrived for dismantling without proper documents.

Sources said preliminary investigation revealed that the last port registry documents may have been forged for easy entry in Indian waters.

Both the vessels were last registered at a Dubai port.

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