MV Seaman Guard Ohio was detained by coastal security off Tuticorin port recently

Armed security guards on board MV Seaman Guard Ohio, the US vessel that was detained by coastal security agencies off Tuticorin port recently, were just ‘mercenaries’ and had no business to be at sea, said Naval officer in-charge, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Commodore Amar K. Mahadevan, on Monday.

Talking to reporters, he said the private guards were just opportunists who were providing security from one point to another to make quick money. They were not authorised by any State to carry out anti-piracy operations.

“They can be detrimental… we never know their vested interests other than anti-piracy work,” he said.

Coastal security agencies had information on the movement of the US vessel and that was how the interception took place. “We keep getting intelligence inputs on certain activities like human trafficking, smuggling and also that there are people who are trying to infiltrate our country for obviously carrying out certain inimical activities. As and when we get information we act,” he said. Commodore Mahadevan said 2012-13 was a success story as there had been minimal attempts of piracy at sea.

The Indian Navy adopted a certain procedure when it came to anti-piracy operations. Naval ships had the practice of escorting merchant ships in a convoy.