Updated March 2nd, 2024 at 15:56 IST

India Detains Ship Suspected of Carrying Chinese Aid for Pakistan's Nuclear Programme at Mumbai Port

A team from DRDO examined the consignment, concluding that it could support Pakistan's nuclear program: Reports.

Reported by: Digital Desk
CMA CGM ATTILA, the ship halted by Indian Authorities at Mumbai port. | Image:marine traffic
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Mumbai: Indian security agencies in Mumbai's Nhava Sheva port have detained a ship from China bound for Karachi, suspecting it carried items that could be used for Pakistan's nuclear and missile program. The ship, named CMA CGM Attila, was halted on January 23 based on intelligence. Customs officials inspected the cargo, which included a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine from Italy. CNC machines are controlled by computers and are very precise.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) also examined the cargo and confirmed that the shipment in question could be used by Pakistan for its  nuclear program. These machines are important for making subcomponents for missiles. CNC machines have been regulated internationally since 1996 to prevent their misuse. India is part of the Wassenaar Arrangement, which has the aim to control the transfer of such dual-use goods.

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Not Pakistan’s First, Second Consignment Caught in 2 Years 

The ship's documents indicated that it was sent by ‘Shanghai JXE Global Logistics Co Ltd’ to ‘Pakistan Wings Pvt Ltd’ in Sialkot. However, further investigation revealed it was sent by Taiyuan Mining Import and Export Co Ltd to Cosmos Engineering in Pakistan. This is not the first time such items have been seized. In 2022, Italian-made instruments were intercepted at the same Mumbai  port.

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There are concerns that Pakistan is using China to get restricted items from Europe and the US. China has been accused of supporting Pakistan's nuclear and missile programs. In 2020, an industrial autoclave, important for making missiles, was found hidden on a Chinese ship heading to Pakistan.

Pakistan-China and Flattering Promises

The probe by Indian authorities is also looking into if the items are being supplied to Pakistan's Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DESTO). Despite promises to follow international rules, both China and Pakistan are suspected of illegal trade in missile-related items. In 2020, China supplied an autoclave to Pakistan, disguised as an ‘industrial dryer’. In 2023, the US sanctioned three Chinese companies for supplying missile-related items to Pakistan.

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Published March 2nd, 2024 at 15:15 IST