The Tamil Nadu ‘Q’ Branch police on Friday arrested 33 men, including the crew of U.S.-based ship Seaman Guard Ohio that has been detained for sailing into Indian waters without permission. Arms and ammunition aboard were seized on Thursday night as the crew failed to produce valid documents, police said.
The crew was taken to the police station opposite the Tuticorin Seafarers Centre at 7.45 a.m. The arrested were 14 Estonians, 12 Indians, six Britons and one Ukrainian. There were 25 guards and 10 crew members on board. The vessel’s master and one escort were allowed to remain on the ship. A ‘Q’ Branch team was collating details of the crew.
The ship belongs to a U.S.-based company, AdvanFort. It was intercepted by Coast Guard ship Naikidevi on October 12 and escorted to V.O. Chidambaranar Port in Tuticorin. The arrested were produced before the Tuticorin judicial magistrate court–II and it remanded them in judicial custody till October 31. Later, they were lodged in the Palayamkottai central prison in Tirunelveli.