Pak-bound ship from China stopped at Mumbai port over suspected nuclear cargo

Security agencies had stopped a ship bound for Karachi from China at Mumbai’s Nhava Sheva port in January. They suspected the ship might be carrying items for Pakistan’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme.
Pak-bound ship from China stopped at Mumbai port over suspected nuclear cargo
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Security agencies intercepted a Karachi-bound ship from China at Mumbai’s Nhava Sheva port in January, suspecting it of containing a consignment that could be used for Pakistan’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme, officials told news agency PTI on Saturday.

Acting on intelligence input, customs officials halted the Malta-flagged merchant ship, CMA CGM Attila, en route to Karachi on January 23.

According to PTI, officials said that a team from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) examined the consignment, which included a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine, and confirmed its potential use in Pakistan's nuclear program.

CNC machines are governed by the Wassenaar Arrangement, an international agreement aiming to control the spread of items with both civilian and military uses, with India actively involved. Notably, North Korea used a CNC machine in its nuclear program.

Further investigations revealed discrepancies in shipping details, suggesting attempts to hide the true recipients, PTI reported.

The ongoing investigation seeks to determine if the suspected Pakistani recipients of these items are connected to the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DESTO), responsible for Pakistan's defense research and development.

PROBE ON TO DETERMINE DETAILS OF SHIPMENT

However, upon further investigation, security agencies found that the 22,180-kilogram consignment was actually sent by Taiyuan Mining Import and Export Co Ltd and was intended for Cosmos Engineering in Pakistan.

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Pak-bound ship from China stopped at Mumbai port over suspected nuclear cargo

This isn't the first time Indian port officials have seized such dual-use military-grade items being transported from China to Pakistan. Cosmos Engineering, a Pakistani defence supplier, has been under scrutiny since March 12, 2022, when Indian authorities intercepted a shipment of Italian-made thermoelectric instruments at the Nhava Sheva port.

Source: India Today

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