Lens on labourers over Vikrant theft

Forensic and fingerprint experts scour the ship for clues on actual perpetrators of the brazen break-in

Published: 19th September 2019 05:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2019 07:51 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala Police team investigating the theft of critical equipment from India’s Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) has started scanning the details of the workers employed by private contractors at Cochin Shipyard for the construction of the vessel. Officials said many private contractors have brought labourers from across the country for the construction of the IAC. 

The casual labourers brought for the construction were interrogated by the Ernakulam South police on Wednesday. Forensic experts and fingerprint experts examined the ship and collected evidence. 

ALSO READ | Espionage twist to theft on under-construction aircraft carrier Vikrant

“It is suspected the perpetrators carried out the operation using hand gloves. They stole the equipment after vandalising the computer and cooler system in the room,” said an officer. Following a complaint lodged by Cochin Shipyard authorities on Monday, the Kochi City Police constituted a special team under DCP G Poonguzhali to carry out the probe.

APPEARS TO BE  AN INSIDER JOB, SAYS CISF

New Delhi: THE theft on board Vikrant seems to be a case of internal sabotage, according to sources in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) which guards the deck of the under-construction ship. Its internal security at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd is managed by DRS, a private firm. A CISF official said the private company handles daily watch and ward.

“It’s a matter of probe if there was any insider hand in allowing someone to leave with the components,” a CISF official said. Vikrant is expected to launch sea trials in 2021 and commissioned in 2023.

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