Friday, December 30, 2005
A consignment of over 100 tonnes of explosives on a merchant ship bound for Afghanistan has gone missing. The explosives were meant for use by Border Road Organization for road construction in Afghanistan and were being shipped on the MV Eugenia. On December 22, the MV Eugenia crew set sail from the Mumbai port. It was supposed to go to Iran before heading off to Jaranz in Afghanistan. But the ship has returned to Mumbai without the explosives. The Captain and five-member crew of the MV Eugenia have been detained in Mumbai and are being questioned by the police. The director of the shipping company Unimarine Limited Samsu Sheroff said the Captain had sent a message on December 23 saying one container of cargo had been lost as the ship hit choppy waters.
"When the ship was asked on December 24 to return to India, the Captain turned around to come to Mumbai and in the bargain other five containers on board were lost," he added. The explosives company, which shipped the consignment, says whatever happened is out of their hand. "Our responsibility ends once we hand over the cargo to the shipping agency. We have a letter from the shipping agency saying we have handed them the consignment. Now it's up to the government of India and the shipping company," said AN Gupta, MD Premier Explosives. But what makes it a hard story to accept is that explosives meant for other agencies remained unaffected.