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35 of US ship crew arrested for illegally carrying arms into India, get 5 years jail

The crew was arrested after the Coast Guard personnel found the ship carrying arms illegally in Indian waters off Tuticorin, a charge denied by the vessel authorities.

Seaman Guard Ohio, Seaman Guard Ohio latest news, Seaman Guard Ohio india, US ship, US ship case, US ship illegal arms, Seaman Guard Ohio vessel, Seaman Guard Ohio case, Seaman Guard Ohio crew, US news, India news The Seaman Guard Ohio vessel crew, arrested in 2013 for illegally entering Indian territory with arms after their ship was intercepted by Indian Coast Guard off Tuticorin port, had been granted conditional bail in March 2014. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

A Tuticorin court on Monday sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment all the 35 crew members of US company-owned ship Seaman Guard Ohio which was held for illegally entering Indian territory with arms.

Judge Rajasekhar also imposed a fine of Rs 3,000 each on the crew members comprising 12 Indians, three Ukrainians, six British and 14 Estonian nationals.

The crew, arrested on October 18, 2013, after 35 their ship was intercepted by Indian Coast Guard off Tuticorin port, had been granted conditional bail by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court in March 2014.

The crew was arrested after the Coast Guard personnel found the ship carrying arms illegally in Indian waters off Tuticorin, a charge denied by the vessel authorities.

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They faced charges under the Arms Act and Essential Commodities Act, which was invoked as the ship had allegedly bought diesel from a local agent in violation of the law.

US firm AdvanFort International, which owns the ship, had been maintaining that the vessel was involved in anti-piracy operations and had not strayed into Indian waters.

First published on: 11-01-2016 at 02:25:54 pm
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