HC grants bail to 33 crew of detained US ship; Captain, V-C denied relief
Madurai: More than six months after their arrest on charges of carrying weapons illegally and straying into Indian waters off Tuticorin, 33 crew members of a US ship were Wednesday granted conditional bail by Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.
Justice R S Ramanathan, however denied bail to M V Seaman Guard Ohio`s Captain and Vice-Captain Dudinik Valentyn and Paul David Dennis Towers respectively.
R Munithevan, a local accused of supplying 1,500 litres of diesel illegally to the ship, was also granted conditional bail by the court.
The ship owned by a US firm was detained on October 18 by the Indian Coast Guard authorities off Tuticorin for violating the International Maritime Boundary Line.
Upon inspection, the authorities discovered that the ship carried arms and ammunitions, and cases under Arms Act were registered against the crew and arrested.
The court directed the 33 crew members, including 12 Indians, to stay in Chennai, sign in Mylapore Police station at 10 AM and 5 PM daily.
The court also directed them to produce surety to the tune of Rs 2 lakh each.
The diesel supplier should produce a surety of Rs 50,000 and sign at `Q` branch police station in Tuticorin.
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