US ship case transferred to Tamil Nadu Q branch
Chennai: The controversial case involving a private US ship illegally carrying arms off Tuticorin coast has been transferred to Tamil Nadu Q Branch for an extensive probe, a top police official said on Tuesday.
"The case has been shifted from the Marine Police to the Q Branch," DGP K Ramanujam said.
A day after an FIR was filed against 35 people on board `M V Seaman Guard Ohio` under various provisions of the Arms Act, the state government transferred the probe in the sensitive case to the specialised wing and also sent a preliminary report to the Home Ministry.
The Marine Police, which was joined by the RAW and IB, is verifying the documents submitted by the ship`s crew.
There was no official confirmation on whether the detained ship crew have submitted documents to prove that they had valid authorisation to transport weapons.
Investigating authorities have also been eliciting the reasons that forced the crew to stray into Indian waters and their suspicious role in procuring fuel through illegal route.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Police have launched a manhunt for two men who allegedly procured and supplied diesel illegally for the ship.
"We want to take them into custody to probe if the deal with Ohio pertained only to diesel," an official said.
Besides, a case under the Essential Commodities Act has also been registered for buying 1,500 litres of diesel illegally with the help of a local shipping agent.
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