Navy Chief says nukes can be smuggled into India via sea route

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New Delhi, Feb 18 (ANI): Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, on Wednesday warned that nuclear weapons could be smuggled into the country in cargo containers via the sea route.

Addressing a conference on port sector development and security in New Delhi on Wednesday, Admiral Mehta said; "Today about 70 to 75 percent of global cargo is containerized. It has been acknowledged widely that cargo containers are the most likely means for a terrorist organisation to illegally transport a nuclear weapon."

Mehta's warning comes in the wake of the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, carried out by terrorists entering the city via sea from Karachi.

Admiral Mehta told reporters after the conference that measures like a port examination through X-ray machines are mandatory to ensure security.

Elaborating on port security, Admiral Mehta advised every country to use the high-tech Container Inspection System (CIS) for all traffic moving on sea routes around the world.

"The fact is that if it (CIS) is applicable only to the traffic that is moving into the United States then it's not the complete full proof system. Every country has to accede to it (so) that wherever whichever port the container leads from that country certifies that this container is fully secure, so that at the other end also it arrives secure, and if everybody does that then the whole world is secure," added Admiral Mehta.

The CIS uses digital radiography technology for rapid inspection of containers of different sizes as an effective measure for customs to combat smuggling and customs revenue evasion.

India has already boosted its coastal security with both the Indian Navy and Coast Guard carrying out coordination patrols.

The warning comes in the backdrop of reports of the Taliban's threat to attack Western cultural centres in Indian cities. The reports say that no intelligence input is available on the nature, specific target, the timing or group likely to carry out the threat. (ANI)

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