Syrian goes missing from ship at Gujarat port

Ahmedabad: The sudden mysterious disappearance of a 22-year-old Syrian citizen from aboard a cargo ship docked at the Hazira port near Gujarat's Surat city on Tuesday has set the security agencies on the run.

Identified as Ibrahim Aden, the Syrian was in one of the cabins till the ship was anchored at Hazira port. However, when the ship reached Kandla port on July 2, the crew members did not find him inside the cabin. Subsequently they informed the Kandla coastal police station in Kutch.

Primary investigations after a thorough examination of the ship revealed that the window of the cabin was broken suggesting that the Syrian might have jumped off the ship into the sea.

The Marine Police in Hazira and other security agencies have been alerted by the Kandla coastal police and a search operation has been launched in the coastal areas for the missing seaman.

Officials suspect that the missing Syrian might have an IS connection. Security agencies have become extra vigilant in the wake of annual Rath Yatras and Eid festivities across the state beginning on Wednesday.

Of the 19 crew members of the ship, seven are Indians and 12 Syrians.

Official sources said that the ship, registered at the Cooks Island, had begun its journey from Egypt. It had offloaded rock phosphate, a key raw material for fertilizer manufacturing at the Hazira port on June 18, said the official, adding that the ship later left for Kandla port for another consignment.

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