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Pakistan-bound vessel with nuclear shipment from China stopped

Equipment has potential for use in ballistic missile programme

Pakistan-bound vessel with nuclear shipment from China stopped

A container seized from the ship.



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 2

A Karachi-bound ship from China and intercepted at Mumbai has been found to be carrying a suspected nuclear consignment. A team from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) examined the same, which included a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine, and confirmed its potential use in Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

Acting on a tip-off, Indian customs officials, on January 23, halted the Malta-flagged merchant ship, CMA CGM Attila, which was en route to Karachi. The vessel was held back at Mumbai’s Nhava Sheva port, on suspicions that it contained a consignment that could be used for Pakistan’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme.

CNC machines like the one found on the merchant vessel 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 programme.

Further investigations by Indian agencies revealed discrepancies in shipping details, suggesting attempts to hide the

true recipients. This incident is part of a pattern of seizures of dual-use military-grade items being shipped from China to Pakistan, sparking concerns about illicit procurement activities.

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

Indian agencies reported that bills of loading indicated that the sender was “Shanghai JXE Global Logistics Co Ltd” in China and the receiver was “Pakistan Wings Pvt Ltd” in Sialkot.

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

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-based 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.

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#China #Defence Research and Development Organisation DRDO #Mumbai #Pakistan


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