Iranian boat intercepted off Kerala coast decalred clean
The Iranian boat which was intercepted and captured along the Alleppey coast in Kerala has been declared clean.
A major security scare was caused following the interception of this boat which had both Iranian and Pakistani nationals on it.
The case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency and in its final report it has stated that there are no traces of illegal acts.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a Final Report of Investigation on completion of investigation before the NIA Special Court at Ernakulam.
The case relates to the interception of a Iranian Boat which was found in the Arabian Sea in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India at 58.5 nautical miles off Alleppey coast of Kerala on July 4, 2015.
The boat was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard with 12 persons on board comprising 11 Iranians and 1 Pakistani national.
The case was registered under Sections 3 & 7 of Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of Fishing by Foreign Vessels) Act 1981 and Section 3(g) of The Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002, (SUA Act) at local Police Station in Kerala. The 12 persons on board the boat were arrested in connection with the case.
During the investigation, the NIA thoroughly examined the arrested persons and the call details of their phones were analysed.
A thorough forensic examination of the Boat was undertaken to detect trace of any evidence of any illegal acts / consignment on board and the ocean floor below the location of the Boat was also scanned for any offloading of contrabands on the high seas.
However, no evidence to establish the commission of a scheduled offence could be forthcoming during investigation.
The final report of investigation, therefore, submits that no evidence could be found to establish commission of scheduled offences under the SUA Act.
However, the final report submitted indicates the commission of offences under section 3 r/w 10 (b) and 7 r/w 14 of the Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of Fishing by Foreign Vessels) Act 1981, for which only the master of the ship is liable.
Taking cognizance of the final report of investigation, the NIA Special Court discharged the 11 of the 12 arrested persons for being devoid of any liability in the case. The court has entrusted the custody of the 11 foreigners to FRRO, Kochi.
Consequently, FRRO, Kochi has imposed restrictions on their movement out of District Jail as per provisions of Foreigners, Act, 1946 and Foreigners Order, 1948, till their deportation to respective countries.
The Court further directed NIA to take adequate steps for issuing travel documents to the foreigners.