The yacht carrying AK-47 assault rifles and other weapons found adrift near Harihareshwar in Maharashtra’s Raigad district on Thursday had last sailed from Dubai in May-June with three crew members and five passengers, top intelligence sources have told CNN-News18.
The 16-metre yacht had made a distress call on June 26 due to bad weather in Gulf of Oman.
On June 27, the Korean Navy vessel ‘ROKS Dae Jo Yeong’ of Combined Task Force (CTF)- 151 had rescued all personnel.
En route, the tow broke following which, the yacht, with arms consignment on board, was adrift, the sources told News18.
The security agency Neptune Maritime security has confirmed the serial numbers of missing AK weapons as same as found in the yacht.
Meanwhile, Neptune Maritime Security has issued a statement, “The yacht was damaged during the monsoon in the Arabian Sea, causing the Captain to declare an emergency. While the crew were rescued, the yacht was unable to be salvaged due to the extreme weather conditions. Earlier this morning, Neptune P2P Group were made aware that the vessel, which was presumed sunk, had washed up on Indian shores,” the company said.
Devendra Fadnavis, who is also the Maharashtra home minister, said on Thursday that the yacht named ‘Lady Han’ is owned by an Australian woman, Hana Laundergun. “Three AK-47 rifles, papers, and cartridges were found… The Coast Guard was also informed,” said Fadnavis.
Laundergun and her husband, James Hobert, the captain of the vessel, were travelling to Muscat from Europe. They gave a distress call when the boat’s engine was damaged, according to Fadnavis. “A South Korean warship rescued them but a small boat could not be rescued due to rough weather,” he said.
The RDX that landed at Shrivardhan on Thursday refreshed the memories of 1993 when the explosive was used for the first time to make bombs. The explosions in Mumbai, masterminded by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim along with Tiger Menon, were the biggest terror attacks to be conducted in India to date.