The Tamil Nadu ‘Q’ Branch police have launched an investigation with three persons alleged to have supplied diesel illegally to the crew of detained US ship Seaman Guard Ohio here on Saturday.

According to reliable sources, the trio allegedly smuggled 1,500 litres of diesel to the vessel said to be stranded at mid sea without fuel.

Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Naikidevi’ intercepted the vessel for illegally carrying arms and ammunition and straying in to Indian waters on violation. The Mercantile Marine Department has stepped up investigation on its part on the detained vessel. Two officials, including the Nautical Surveyor and Radio Inspector, reached Tuticorin and launched the probe. The officials had checked documents available on the ship.

Besides, the officials inspected communication equipment including satellite phones. Navigational chart papers had also been verified to find on which directions the ship had sailed, previously. Since the investigating agencies had sought the assistance of the MMD, the officials were probing, a reliable source told The Hindu.

After its detention, the vessel was being berthed at V.O.Chidambaranar Port since Saturday (October 12). Thirty three men including the ship crew and guards aboard the detained vessel were arrested by the ‘Q’ Branch police on Friday as they failed to provide valid documents.

Arms and ammunition aboard the ship were also seized on Thursday night. Two more men of the crew including the master of the ship would soon be arrested.