India arrests crew of U.S. ship on weapons charges

India arrests crew of U.S. ship on weapons charges

Police in a southern Indian port city arrested the crew of a U.S.-owned ship Friday for entering Indian waters illegally with a large cache of weapons and ammunition on board.

The MV Seaman Guard Ohio was detained Oct. 12 by the Indian Coast Guard and is currently anchored at a port in southern Tamil Nadu state.  Eight crew members and 25 security guards were arrested after they failed to produce documents allowing them to carry the weapons, Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh told reporters Friday.

Virginia-based security firm AdvanFort — which owns the ship — claims that all arms and ammunition on board are licensed and were necessary to support their anti-piracy mission in the Indian Ocean.

“The weapons on board the vessel are completely legal. They are all registered. They were purchased legally and are used for our own use in safeguarding ships in the high risk area,” William H Watson, AdvanFort president, told the Press Trust of India.

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