India Intercepts Chinese Ship Bound for Pakistan with Ballistic Missile Cargo

According to news agency PTI, Indian security agencies have intercepted a Chinese ship heading to Mumbai’s Nhava Sheva port. There are concerns that the ship may contain suspicious cargo that could potentially be used by Pakistan for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Customs officials in India halted the Maltese-flagged merchant ship CMA CGM Attila on January 23. The vessel was reportedly en route to Karachi. It had an Italian company’s computer numerical control (CNC) machine on board.

The Indian security agencies are investigating the matter further to ascertain the nature and potential threat posed by the cargo onboard the intercepted Chinese vessel.

Efforts are being made by Pakistani and Chinese entities to import restricted goods from Europe and the United States. Following this, a team from the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) inspected the ship along with other items on board. The DRDO team confirmed that the CNC machine could be used in Pakistan’s missile program. Officials have expressed concerns that Pakistan is seeking Chinese assistance to acquire restricted goods from Europe and America, making it difficult to trace.

According to documents related to the ship, the cargo was sent by Shanghai JHX Logistics Company and was destined for Sialkot-based Wings Private Limited. However, security officials found that the weight of the cargo on the ship exceeded 22,000 kilograms. It was sent by Taiwan Mining Company and was intended for delivery to Pakistan’s Cosmos Engineering Company.

Officials present at the port informed India’s Special Intelligence Officers about the matter. Subsequently, these officers re-examined the cargo and seized it. It is worth noting that Pakistan’s Cosmos Engineering Company is a defense supplier. The incident occurred in March 2022 when the company attempted to bring thermal electric goods from Italy to Karachi through the ship.

What is CNC?

A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine is a type of pre-programmed computer software that controls machine tools’ rapid and precise movements. Its application can be relevant to both civilians and the military.

Since 1996, CNC machines have been incorporated into various manufacturing systems worldwide. It is an international arms control system designed to regulate the proliferation of tools and technologies used for both civilian and military purposes. India is one of 42 member countries that shares information related to the transfer of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.

Indian authorities have previously intercepted cargo, notably when India was en route from China to Pakistan, which could also be utilized in military applications. In February 2020, China attempted to supply Pakistan with industrial dryers, which could be used for autoclaves, intended for ballistic missile launches.

In June 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) imposed several sanctions on three Chinese companies. These sanctions were imposed due to allegations of attempting to supply Pakistan with materials related to its ballistic missile program.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.