Nine suspected pirates have been detained in the eastern Arabian Sea, the Indian Navy said.

A navy statement says a patrol aircraft spotted the suspects Friday aboard a cargo ship that is believed to have been hijacked and used to smuggle contraband.

An Indian naval ship closed in on the vessel Sunday, and the “overwhelmed” crew did not offer any resistance. The statement says automatic weapons were found on the ship.

The crew included five Yemenis, two Tanzanians, one Kenyan and one Somalian.

Piracy has long plagued the shipping industry off East Africa. Violence has escalated in recent months despite the presence of a flotilla of international warships.

More In: National | News | States