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Pics Show Suspected Nuclear Cargo From Pakistan Bound Ship Stopped At Mumbai Port

Mumbai: A Pakistan-bound ship from China was intercepted by Indian security agencies at Mumbai’s Nhava Sheva port on January 23. The agencies suspected that the ship contained cargo that could be used for Pakistan’s nuclear and ballistic missile program.

Pictures of the cargo, which included a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine originally manufactured by an Italian company, have surfaced online

On January 23, customs officers, based on intelligence information, stopped the commercial ship CMA CGM Attila, flying the flag of Malta, while it was heading towards Karachi. During the process, the shipment—which included Computer Numerical Control (CNC) equipment made by an Italian company—was carefully examined.  

A computer program controls the motion of factory equipment and tools in a computer numerical control (CNC) machine. This technology is used to operate a variety of intricate machines, including CNC routers, mills, lathes, and grinders.

An efficiency, uniformity, and accuracy level not possible with human operation is guaranteed by CNC machines.  

The Wassenaar Arrangement, an international weapons control mechanism designed to stop the spread of technology with both civilian and military applications, has been applied to CNC machines since 1996.

India is one of the 42 members that take part in the information sharing about the transfer of dual-use items and technologies as well as conventional weapons.  

North Korea used the CNC machine for its nuclear development.  

After examining the shipment, a team from the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) confirmed that it may be used in the nuclear program of the neighboring country.

According to officials, the seizure is in line with initiatives to stop China and Pakistan from potentially proliferating.  

The consignment, originating from China, detailed the consigner as “Shanghai JXE Global Logistics Co Ltd” and the consignee as “Pakistan Wings Pvt Ltd” in Sialkot, according to documents such as bills of loading. However, a more in-depth probe by security agencies revealed that the 22,180-kilogram consignment was shipped by Taiyuan Mining Import and Export Co Ltd, intended for Cosmos Engineering in Pakistan.

On March 12, 2022, a shipment of thermoelectric instruments built in Italy was detained by Indian officials at the port of Nhava Sheva, drawing suspicion toward Cosmos Engineering, a defense supplier based in Pakistan.  

Officials voiced worries that Pakistan would hide its identity in order to use China as a conduit for obtaining prohibited goods from the US and Europe. Concerns regarding China’s assistance for Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs have grown, as evidenced by a case from 2020 in which industrial equipment on a Chinese vessel headed for Pakistan was found hidden alongside an industrial autoclave that is essential for producing missiles.

The purpose of the ongoing investigation is to find out if the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DESTO), which is in charge of much of Pakistan’s defense research and development, is obtaining these dual-use items from the suspected Pakistani businesses.

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