India Intercepts Suspected Nuclear Cargo En Route to Pakistan from China

India Intercepts Suspected Nuclear Cargo En Route to Pakistan from China

New Delhi - Indian security agencies have intercepted a Pakistan-bound vessel originating from China at Mumbai's Nhava Sheva port, suspecting it to be transporting a 'dual-use consignment' potentially destined for Islamabad's nuclear and ballistic missile program. The apprehended shipment included a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine manufactured by an Italian company.

The CNC machine, examined by customs officials and the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), was deemed capable of producing critical components for Pakistan's missile development efforts. Weighing in at 22,180 kilograms, the consignment was dispatched by Taiyuan Mining Import and Export Co Ltd and was intended for Cosmos Engineering in Pakistan.

Authorities seized the shipment under the suspicion of possible proliferation activities involving Pakistan and China.

The current incident is not an isolated one, as Indian port authorities have previously intercepted dual-use military-grade items en route from China to Pakistan. Notably, in February 2020, China attempted to supply an autoclave to Pakistan, disguising it as an "industrial dryer." Cosmos Engineering, a defense supplier based in Pakistan, has been under scrutiny since March 12, 2022, following the interception of Italian-made thermoelectric instruments at Nhava Sheva port.

Furthermore, in June 2023, the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) imposed sanctions on three Chinese companies for their involvement in providing missile-applicable items to Pakistan's ballistic missile program. These sanctioned entities include General Technology Limited, a supplier of autoclaves to Pakistan, as well as Beijing Luo Luo Technology Development and Changzhou Utek Composite Company.

The vigilance of Indian security agencies and port officials underscores the ongoing concerns regarding the potential exploitation of trade channels by Pakistan, facilitated through China, to acquire restricted items from Europe and the US. 

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