A North Korean merchant vessel, that anchored near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on August 6 without the necessary clearance, has undergone preliminary checks at the deepwater port here. The cargo, comprising 16,500 tonnes of sugar is being unloaded at the rate of 2,000 tonnes a day.

A final inspection will be done after the entire cargo is discharged, probably in seven days. Till then the ship, Mu San, which was suspected to be carrying hazardous cargo, will be closely monitored by the Coast Guard and other Central agencies.

The 39-member crew, including Captain Yun Jong Sun, could not corroborate their claims about where the sugar was headed and the absence of an interpreter complicated the matter.

The relevant documents have been sought from the Indian consignee, M/s E&DF Commodities, and other international clients involved in the transaction.