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Alang ship-breaking yard: Customs, DRI seize 3 cargo vessels for operating with ‘forged documents’

The vessels -- MV Sea Golden, MV Coral and MV Harriet -- have been detained at the Bhavnagar anchorage.

Written by Avinash Nair | Ahmedabad |
Updated: December 21, 2021 8:24:56 pm
The vessels MV Sea Golden, MV Coral and MV Harriet have been detained at the Bhavnagar anchorage. (Photo for representation)

Three cargo vessels that came to be broken at Alang ship-breaking yard in Gujarat have been seized by the Customs department and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for operating with forged documents, officials said on Monday.

The vessels — MV Sea Golden, MV Coral and MV Harriet — have been detained at the Bhavnagar anchorage. While Sea Golden and Coral arrived on December 5, Harriet came on December 9. “All the three are tankers and have been seized by customs and DRI at the anchorage,” said a senior official from Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), which manages ship-breaking activities at Alang in Bhavnagar district.

While Harriet, detained by DRI, have “UN sanctions” and all the documents were found to be forged, the other two vessels detained by customs were found to have wrong IMO numbers, which are crucial identification numbers assigned to a ship during the construction of its hull, officials told The Indian Express.

DRI officials refused to elaborate about the type of kind of UN sanctions, while custom department officials said that the IMO numbers of two cargo vessels were forged and it was found during mandatory checks conducted by the authorities. “Two ships have been seized by customs.

The IMO numbers of Sea Golden and Coral also do not match. These vessels will now be confiscated,” a senior customs department official added.

The Ship Recycling Industries Association (SRIA) said it is difficult to find out if the documents of a ship bought for recycling are forged. “It is like buying a second hand vehicle from someone. It is hard to tell if the documents are forged. It is only comes to the fore when the authorities carry out the mandatory checks and verify the documents of the vessel when it arrives for breaking. No ship-recycler will knowingly buy a vessel with forged documentation,” said Haresh Parmar, joint secretary of SRIA and a ship-recycler at Alang.

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