PALGHAR: Fourteen persons without valid identity papers were arrested from two boats near Panju Island in Vasai in Maharashtra's Palghar district, police said Sunday.
Police said that a Coast Guard patrolling team Saturday spotted two boats off the Uttan coast and boarded them for a check.
"A Coast Guard hovercraft deployed in the area on December 29 sighted two unnamed and unregistered sand-laden boats off Uttan. The crew on board had no valid permit, documents or ID proof. They claimed to hail from West Bengal," said Coast Guard PRO Abhinandan Maitra.
He said the 14 were handed over to Vasai police for further probe.
During the Coast Guard operation, four other boats in the vicinity came ashore and its crew members fled into the dense mangroves nearby, the official added.
The Vasai police had been intimated about this incident as well and have been asked to trace these persons and ascertain their antecedents, he said.
Police identified the 14 arrested persons as Abil Shaikh (25), Shafiful (27), Ahajith (33), Moiddin (45), Islam (35), B Shaikh (22), Shaiful (27), N Mulla (45), Rafiqul (19), Saiful (27), J MUlla (40), Mondal (28), Painal (38) and Ibrahim Shaikh (25).
Police said investigations were underway to find out if the persons arrested are Bangladeshi nationals.