As part of the action of the National Coast Guard (NCG) in combatting the illegal activities that are happening in the Mauritius Maritime Zone, the CGS Barracuda was deployed for surveillance in the northern part of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Mauritius for a couple of days. While patrolling the area, it apprehended a suspicious fishing vessel which was not bearing any flag.
This announcement was made, today, by the Commandant of the NCG, Captain Vipin Gupta, at Quay D in Port-Louis.
In his statement to the press, Captain Gupta highlighted that the fishing vessel and its nine crew members do not have a single piece of documentation and it is thus, at this stage, impossible to know where they come from. The vessel, he pointed out, was about 600 nautical miles north of Port-Louis when it was intercepted by CGS Barracuda.
He observed that further details about the fishing vessel cannot be disclosed as the matter is still under investigation. He underlined that there are many issues which are suspicious with respect to the fishing vessel and expressed hope that the investigation will provide information and details about illegal activities taking place in Mauritian waters.
This operation, underscored Captain Gupta, showcases what a large ship like CGS Barracuda can do, such as going far out at sea for a long period of time and apprehending suspicious vessels. He further recalled that the NCG has also carried out a significant drug seizure on 16 December 2021. The NSG, he reassured, will continue to deploy all efforts so as to ensure the safety and security of the Mauritian EEZ from any illegal activities.
As for Superintendent of Police (SP), Mr Viswarnath Virah Sawmy, he stated that this operation is the result of a new strategy put in place be the Acting Commissioner of Police concerning maritime security and safety. He informed that a multi-sectoral approach has been adopted, which also enabled relevant authorities to seize drugs on board a speed boat recently.
According to SP Virah Sawmy, the vessel was intercepted on 10 January 2022 while CGS Barracuda was patrolling the EEZ of Mauritius. He also remarked that the enquiry to shed light on the suspicious fishing vessel will be carried out by the Central Criminal Investigation Division of the Mauritius Police Force.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.