TN police arrest 35 crew members of American ship

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 18, 2013 06:35 hrs

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu police have arrested 35 crew members of an American ship for carrying weapons without permit.

They have been taken to the Muthaihpuram police station near the Tuticorin dockyard, where they will be formally put under arrest

Earlier, Deputy Security Advisor Nehchal Sandhu on Thursday maintained that no exceptions would be made under law as far as the investigation into the detained American ship, which allegedly had illegal weapons onboard, and said that the probe has been transferred to the Tamil Nadu CID.

" It is a straight matter of law. An FIR (First Information Report) has been registered. Investigations are afoot. They have been transferred from the maritime police to 'Q' branch of the Tamil Nadu CID. Whatever is permissible and appropriate under law will happen," Sandhu said, when asked about the progress of the probe.

The Home Ministry reportedly asked the Tamil Nadu government to probe into the case and submit a report to the Centre on the purpose of the armed American ship treading into Indian waters.

The detained vessel has been identified as M.V. Seaman Guard Ohio and was intercepted and detained by the Indian Coast Guard about 15 nautical miles east of Tuticorin on Saturday.

Additionally, FIRs have been reportedly registered against 10 crew members and 25 guards of the detained ship by the Tamil Nadu Marine Police for illegally carrying arms and ammunition.

According to media reports, a case under the Essential Commodities Act has also been registered against the crew members for buying 1,500 litres of diesel illegally with the help of a Tamil Nadu-based shipping agent.

Media reports also claim that the detained vessel had 10 crewmembers, comprising of two Ukranians and eight Indians. The vessel also has 25 security guards, of which six are British, fourteen are Estonian, one Ukranian and four are Indians.

More from Sify: