US ship detention: Bail plea of 35 crew members rejected

Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu), Oct.30 (ANI): A local court on Wednesday rejected bail petitions of the 35-crew members of the detained US ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio, who were arrested on October 18 for illegally carrying arms and ammunitions in Indian waters.

According to reports, sessions Judge Paul Durai rejected their bail petitions when the matter came up for hearing before him.

Advocate for the US Vessel, Jawahar, said that they would challenge the judgment in the Madurai bench of Madras High Court.

"Today we applied for bail for all the arrested people saying that the investigations is complete. The FIR has been registered and police have recovered three pistols and diesel. But the court observed that the first phase of investigation has to continue and the vehicle, which was taken into custody, does not have any certificate to prove its innocence and therefore the bail was rejected. But we have decided to challenge the judgment in the Madurai bench of Madras High Court," he said.

Earlier on October 18, the Tamil Nadu Police arrested 35 crew members of the detained U.S. ship for failing to produce papers authorizing the vessel to carry weapons and ammunitions in Indian waters.

The detained vessel had been identified as M.V. Seaman Guard Ohio and was intercepted and detained by the Indian Coast Guard about 15 nautical miles east of Tuticorin on October 12.

Media reports also claim that the detained vessel had 10 crewmembers, comprising of two Ukranians and eight Indians. The vessel also has 25 security guards, of which six are British, fourteen are Estonian, one Ukranian and four Indians. (ANI)


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