Floating armouries can lead to 26/11-like attacks: Navy chief

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Calling for regularisation of private maritime security ships, Indian Navy chief Admiral D.K. Joshi Tuesday warned that such “floating armouries” may lead to more 26/11-like attacks.

“The floating armouries are a matter of very serious concern. There are security implications, including infiltration of terrorists,” he said at a press conference ahead of Navy Day Dec 4.
“If there are unregulated armouries floating, it can lead to such (Mumbai terror attack) situation on any soil,” he said in response to a question.
The navy chief said that like the merchant vessels operating under the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) framework, these floating armouries have to be brought under regulation and all the littoral states must be aware of the identity of such ships, the number of weapons and guards present on them.
“A regularisation framework by IMO is needed for these ships,” he said.
His comments come against the backdrop of the seizure of the American floating armoury MV Seaman Guard Ohio off the coast of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu recently.
The navy chief added that the Indian navy is not concerned about the presence of such ships in the international waters but the “floating armouries” had no business to be close to the Indian coast.
“In 450 nautical miles of the Indian coast, there is no piracy,” he said adding that finding the armed boats in this zone was a concern.
Admiral Joshi however added that the navy was not against such agencies and only wanted them to be regularised.
“The move (to have private security guards on ships) is driven by necessity. They are most welcome to embark guards but this needs to be done in a more regular fashion,” he said.