Suspicious boats spotted off Seychelles islands

Panaji: The Indian Navy today said that it had spotted suspicious-looking small vessels, of the kind used by pirates, off Seychelles islands, around 700 nautical miles off Goa coast.

The boats — "dhows" — had been under aerial surveillance and naval ship had been sent to probe them and neutralise if necessary, said Rear Admiral Sudhir Pillai, Flag Officer Commanding, Goa Region (FOGA).

The three small boats were spotted yesterday morning. "We had received inputs from a merchant ship about the suspected activities. Navy`s IL-38, a maritime surveillance aircraft, spotted them and we have kept a constant watch on them," he said.

"We have been keeping watch on them for the last 24 hours and sent a naval vessel to neutralise them."

The Indian navy had also asked merchant ships to steer clear of the spot, he said.