A Syrian national, part of 18-member crew of an Iraq origin ship, is missing from somewhere between Hazira port and Kandla port since June 18. Both the port authorities are refusing to own up the case compelling the Kandla Marine police to register a missing complaint for further investigation.
The security agencies are tracking the case closely given that there is no trace of the person identified as Ali Adel Ibrahim, a fitter on board, as yet. Sources said that following some dispute Ibrahim was locked up in the cabin of the ship MV Melimass and probably jumped off the ship through the window of the cabin mid sea somewhere around 28 nautical miles off the coast.
“Ibrahim is a fitter in the ship. It is highly unlikely that he survived after jumping into the mid sea. The closest ship was 28 nautical miles from him so his survival chances are dim. It has been more than two weeks and there is no trace of him. Still, we have alerted the local police and other agencies responsible for guarding the coast,” said a senior police officer.
A letter purportedly written by an official of the shipping management firm, dated June 24, says otherwise, “Ibrahim was missed on board and suspected has swam fm Hazira Anchoage Area (sic) upto the shore, since they noticed his presence on board after sailing fm Hazira port on 17.06.2016 while dropping anchor at outer anchorage position.”
The letter also mentions that the “ship owner and shipping management company have taken all necessary measures and notified all concerned parties of this incident…but we are surprised fm the reaction of the local agent at Hazira who freed completely agent responsibility fm this matter (sic).”
The ship was carrying rock phosphate from Iraq which was offloaded at Hazira port in Surat. From Hazira it sailed to Kandla port from where it is supposed to carry other materials for its journey to Bangladesh. According to Inspector General of Police (Kutch range) A K Jadeja when the ship arrived at Kandla port the agent brought only 17 crew members and one was missing.
“The crew members are not revealing anything about the missing persons. They are simply saying they didn’t see him. I told my officers to register the case in the Kandla Marine police station and start investigating the case. The ship is berthing at the port itself,” he said.