DTI News

February 22, 2024
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Indian Navy halts armed individuals trying to hijack Liberian Cargo Ship

New Delhi: In a dramatic turn of events, another attempt to hijack a cargo ship in the Arabian Sea has been reported. On the evening of January 4th, it was discovered that a group of 5-6 unknown armed individuals had boarded a cargo ship flying the flag of Liberia. The vessel in question, MV Leela Norfolk, had Indian crew members on board.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), a British military organization responsible for monitoring ship movements in strategic waterways, first reported the hijacking on Thursday. The Indian Navy promptly responded to the situation, deploying the warship INS Chennai to assist the hijacked ship.

According to a Navy spokesperson, the ship sent a distress message through the UKMTO portal, alerting authorities about the unauthorized boarding. The message mentioned that armed individuals had taken control of the ship.

Immediate action was taken upon receiving the distress signal. The Indian Navy initiated maritime patrolling and redirected INS Chennai, which was already engaged in maritime security operations, to the location of the hijacked ship. It was later revealed that several Indian nationals were among the crew members on board the targeted vessel.

In the early hours of January 5th, a maritime patrol aircraft from the Indian Navy flew over the ship and successfully established contact with the crew. The swift response ensured the safety of the crew members on the hijacked vessel. The naval aircraft continues to monitor the ship’s movements, while INS Chennai has reached close proximity to the targeted cargo ship.

The incident raises concerns about maritime security in the region, prompting the Indian Navy to remain vigilant and actively monitor the situation. As the story unfolds, the nation awaits further updates on the ongoing efforts to secure the hijacked cargo ship and protect the lives of its crew members.

Latest Developments Unveil Investigations into Alleged Drone Assault in Arabian Sea

On December 25, the MV Chem Pluto, believed to be a victim of a suspected drone attack in the Arabian Sea, docked in Mumbai, marking a crucial point in the ongoing investigation by the Explosive Disposal Team of the Indian Navy.

Operating under the Liberian flag, the vessel carried a crew of 21 Indians and one Vietnamese. As the team examined the targeted section and scrutinized the debris, initial assessments indicate a potential drone attack, though a comprehensive investigation is currently in progress to confirm the details.

Reports suggest that the ship, en route from Saudi Arabia to Mangaluru, fell victim to an attack in the Arabian Sea. In response to the surge in attacks on merchant ships, the Indian Navy strategically deployed guided missile destroyers, namely INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata, across different zones in the Arabian Sea.

Initial confusion arose when the United States initially asserted that an Indian ship had been attacked. Subsequently, the Indian Navy clarified that the vessel flew the flag of Gabon, not India.

The U.S. Army’s Central Command attributed the attack to Houthi rebels, clarifying that the ship flying the flag of Gabon was the intended target. As investigations unfold, the nation awaits further updates on this evolving maritime security incident.

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