Mumbai, 24th April 2023: Based on specific intelligence, officers of Pune Customs, with the assistance of Indian Coast Guard, seized a vessel attempting to export about 3500 live goats and sheep to Dubai from Vijaydurg Port, Maharashtra, under the guise of coastal cargo by Indian vessel for supply to Gujarat.
The Pune Customs Commissionerate was in receipt of an unconfirmed intelligence regarding possible smuggling of goats/sheep out of India from the Konkan coast in Maharashtra from one of the ports. Discreet surveillance was maintained on one of the vessels which had submitted documents intimating coastal (domestic) supply of livestock to Gujarat, via sea route from Vijaydurg port to Okha Port. When it was noticed that the vessel changed course and was headed towards Dubai, a Coast Guard vessel was deployed to intercept the vessel and bring it to Angre Port in Maharashtra where suitable facilities were available.
The Indian Coast Guard intercepted the vessel in the early hours of 21.4.2023, at about 90 NM into the open sea. The vessel with livestock was escorted to Jaigad anchorage where a team of Customs officers conducted thorough search resulting in seizure of several incriminating documents indicating conspiracy to illegally export live stock on the basis of forged documents.
The vessel, along with crew and cargo has been detained for investigation. All local authorities, DG Shipping and Animal boards / State veterinary departments have been alerted and coordinated relief action is also underway.
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