A Joint Investigation team by central and state agencies will commence a probe from Tuesday on the seizure of a suspicious foreign dhow with 12 Iranian crew members intercepted off the Kerala coast.
The team, comprising personnel from Coast Guard, Navy, Kerala Police and those from central agencies, will be headed by Thiruvananthapuram city police commissioner H R Venkatesh, sources told reporters.
The Coast Guard had on Sunday intercepted the foreign dhow and had brought it to the nearby Vizhinjam coast. The sources said that the statements given by some of the crew members of the boat, which had left Kalat in Iran on May 25, were not matching.
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Though the crew stated that the boat was ‘drifting’, they were not able to tell why they had not called for help. A Pakistan ID card and a satellite communication set had also been recovered from the vessel by the officials.
Coast Guard said the boat has been handed over to police. Venkatesh said that with the probe being intensified, more details are expected in the coming days.
Police had registered a case under relevant sections of Maritime Zones Act, Suppression of Unlawful Activities against Safety of Maritime Act against the crew.
Meanwhile, a local court on Monday remanded the crew to judicial custody till July 17. They were produced before a court in Neyyatinkara on Monday evening. Police said the crew maintained that they are fishermen but it is yet to be established.