An Indian warship on patrol in the Arabian Sea detained an Iranian dhow, with four Iranians and 15 Pakistanis on board, in India's Exclusive Economic Zone on Friday. The dhow had been sailing nearly 300 nautical miles west of the Bitra island in Lakshadweep around 2 p.m. Fishing gears were also recovered from the single-motor sailing vessel, which was escorted by INS Rajput, a destroyer, to Kavaratti.

“The crew members do not appear to possess any valid document, but all details would only be known after interrogation,” sources in the Navy said.

India recently deployed a multiship force in the Arabian Sea in view of a spurt in poaching and piracy-related incidents in the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Following the detention of the vessel, the Navy and the Coast Guard have intensified patrolling in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, mobilising their ships, patrol vessels and maritime patrol aircraft.

“The Navy is continuing to deploy additional ships and aircraft to carry out anti-piracy sanitisation in the area west of the Lakshadweep islands. Through its sustained presence in the Gulf of Aden and swift action in other hot spots of piracy in the Arabian Sea, the Navy has ensured reduction in incidents of piracy in the region,” a statement said.