NEW DELHI – India's navy said Sunday that a Pakistan-bound North Korean ship would be allowed to leave Indian waters after a search of the vessel yielded "nothing incriminatory," news reports said.
The ship had been detained near Calicut port in southwestern India two days ago after it dropped anchor in Indian waters without permission, Press Trust of India said.
North Korean ships have in the past been accused of clandestinely ferrying nuclear materials, missile parts and arms.
The ship was inspected by a joint team of the Indian Navy, coast guard, intelligence agencies and port authorities, navy spokesman Roy Frances said.
"The investigating team did not find any incriminating cargo or evidence on board the ship," Frances told the Indo-Asian News Service.
The ship would soon be allowed to leave Indian waters, he said.
Navy and coast guard officials had questioned the 44-member crew aboard the Hyang Ro after it anchored without the mandatory clearances from the authorities, PTI quoted Frances, as saying.
The crew members, all North Koreans, said the ship had developed an internal leak in its tank, Frances said.
Local fishermen Friday alerted the coast guard of the presence of the ship.
The cargo ship, owned by the Pyongyang-based Sinhung Shipping Company, had sailed from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and was headed for Pakistan's Bin Qasim port near Karachi.