Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In an unexpected turn of events in the seizure of Rs 220-cr cocaine from a cargo ship at Paradip port, a detained crew member allegedly tried to commit suicide on Sunday.

The crew member, who happens to be the third engineer of the ship, jumped into the sea after allegedly slitting his hand. However, he was subsequently rescued and admitted to the Paradip Port Hospital. Later, he was shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack for advanced treatment.

As per sources, the crew member sustained critical injury on his right hand in the process. Speculation is rife that the crew member might have attempted suicide under severe mental pressure as their team has been confined inside the ship for around one and half months now. It is also suspected that he was involved in the smuggling of the narcotics substance for which he resorted to such extreme.

However, it is yet to be ascertained whether the crew member attempted suicide or it was an escape bid. 

No comments could be obtained from the police and Customs Department officials in this regard.

As per the agent of the ship, the crew member got injured while doing the repair work of the ship.

The ship is currently anchored at the anchorage, some four to five km away from the port under the supervision of the Customs Department. All 21 Vietnami crew members have been detained on the ship.

Customs Department and NCB officials are currently investing into the circumstances in which the cocaine found its way onto the ship, apart from looking into the people who are involved in it. 

As many as 21 crew members of MV Debi ship including the captain are under the scanner of the Customs Department. The matter is currently under the jurisdiction of Kujanga Special Narcotics Court.