TN Police seeks custody of 3 crew members of US ship
Tuticorin (TN): The Q Branch CID of the Tamil Nadu Police today moved a court here seeking custody of three crew members of the detained US vessel, arrested for illegally carrying arms and ammunition in Indian waters, for further investigation.
In its petition filed before Judicial Magistrate C Kathiravan, police sought custody of two Indians -- Lalit Kumar Gurung, Radhesh Dhar Dwivedi -- and UK national Paul Towers of the ship M V Seaman Guard Ohio for interrogation.
The matter has been posted for tomorrow for hearing.
Police sources said there was a suspicion that certain members of the crew had joined the ship only after it`s departure from Kochi and this needed to be probed.
Indian Coast Guard personnel detained the ship off Tuticorin port on October 12 following which police arrested all the 35 crew members on board six days later on the charge of unauthorisedly entering Indian waters and possessing arms and ammunitions without valid documents.
The crew also face charges under the Essential Commodities Act for allegedly buying diesel illegally from local agents.
All the crew members have been remanded to judicial custody and lodged in Palayamkottai Central Prison in neighbouring Tirunelveli District.
Besides the 35 crew, five locals have been arrested and remanded to judicial custody for helping them procure 1,500 litres of diesel illegally.
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