19 Oct 2013

Indian police arrest crew of US-owned ship

2:10 pm on 19 October 2013

Police in India say they have arrested the crew of a United States-owned ship on charges of illegally ferrying weapons and ammunition in Indian waters.

Officials say the MV Seaman Guard Ohio was detained on 12 October by the Indian Coast Guard and is anchored at a port in southern Tamil Nadu state.

Its 35-member crew include Indians, Britons, Ukrainians and Estonians.

The ship's owner, AdvanFort, said the vessel was involved in supporting anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.

The BBC reports there have been differing accounts of the chain of events from the Indian authorities and the US-based security firm.

Police said they found weapons and ammunition on board, which had not been properly declared. Officials said the vessel was not authorised to carry arms in Indian waters and that it never produced the necessary paperwork.

But in a statement released on Monday, AdvanFort said India's coast guard and police allowed the vessel to enter the port to refuel and shelter from a cyclone which hit India's eastern coast last weekend. The company even thanked officials.

It added that all weaponry and equipment on board was properly registered