INDIA. Mumbai: An abandoned boat with AK-47 rifles was seized near Harihareshwar beach in the Raigad district in coastal Maharashtra on Thursday morning leading to a high alert situation and the police enforced a Naka Bandi in the area.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the Maharashtra Legislature that the 16-meter-long boat belonged to an Australian national Hana Londergan. The UK-registered yacht was sailing from Oman to Europe.
On June 26, the boat developed snags and it became out of order. The occupants of the boat sent a distress alarm and a Korean ship, which was in the vicinity, rescued the crew and later handed them over to Oman authorities.
However, due to strong waves, the boat could not be brought to the coast. It drifted and reached Harihareshwar on Thursday. Three AK-47 rifles, ammunition, and some documents were seized from the boat. How the weapons landed on the boat is being investigated by the police and the Indian Coast Guard, Fadnavis said.
In the wake of upcoming festivals like the Krishna Janmashtami-Dahi Handi and the ensuing Ganesh festival, an alert has been sounded in all the coastal districts including twin districts of Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban, North Konkan districts of Thane, Palghar, and Raigad and South Konkan districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.
According to information, since a yacht moves slowly, it is permitted to carry small weapons. When the people on board abandoned the boat, they did not carry weapons with them.
The arms vendor is being contacted. Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad and local police are investigating the matter further.