Private US Firm AdvanFort International today requested India to release all 35 crew members of their detained ship M V Seaman Guard Ohio, saying the vessel has not trespassed into its territorial waters.
Twentytwo foreign nationals among the 35 arrested crew of detained US-based private ship were today shifted from the Central Prison at Palayamkottai here to Chennai while a court remanded three others to police custody for seven days, officials said.
India on Friday justified the detention of a ship owned by an American company and the arrest of its crew, saying the action was taken as the vessel in Indian waters carried arms, ammunition and armed guards without necessary authorisation.
All 35 crew members of US ship MV seaman Guard Ohio were arrested today and produced before a magistrate court and remanded in custody. Clearly, the standoff over the detention of the arms-laden ship in Tuticorin port may explode into a diplomatic row even as the United Kingdom has sought consular access to its six nationals.
Tamil Nadu police on Thursday defended their action of detaining the US ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio asserting there is prima facie case against them for illegally straying into Indian territorial waters.
The Deputy National Security Adviser Nehchal Sandhu may have said that the American ship, detained by Coast Guard off Tamil Nadu coast for carrying arms, was not involved in gunrunning, a number of pertinent questions remain unanswered.
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.
Over 48 hours have passed since MV Seaman Guard Ohio, a ship owned by US company AdvanFort, was detained by Indian Coast Guard off the Tuticorin port in Tamil Nadu, but there are still no clear answers on how the ship entered Indian waters carrying arms and ammunition without any permits.
The government is awaiting a report on an American ship, detained by Coast Guard for its suspicious movement in Indian waters, believed to be a floating armoury meant to supply arms to private agencies engaged in stopping piracy in high seas.
Taking a serious view of the suspicious movement of an American ship in Indian waters, the Centre on Monday sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government on the vessel which was detained for carrying arms and buying diesel unauthorisedly.