The Q Branch CID police have seized 35 arms and about 5,680 rounds of ammunition from the vessel 'M V Seaman Guard Ohio', which has been impounded since October 12.
Thirty-three out of the 35 members on board the vessel were taken to Muthiahpuram Police Station this morning and questioned after which police completed legal formalities to affect their formal arrest.
An official statement issued by police headquarters in Chennai stated a case for offences under Arms Act 1959, Essential Commodities Act 1955 and Motor Spirit and High Speed Diesel Prevention of malpractices in supply and distribution order 1990 has been registered against the crew.
The investigation by the “Q” Branch police of the state's specialized wing in the last two days has revealed that the vessel was found in the country's territorial waters and was in possession of a huge quantity of arms and ammunition, without valid authorization of documents, police said.
Police said the two crew members have been permitted to stay on board the vessel to carry out maintenance of the ship till further arrangements were made and they would also be arrested.
The Q Branch CID police have seized 35 arms and about
5,680 rounds of ammunition from the vessel, which was detained off Tuticorin coast on October 12.
Tamil Nadu Police registered an FIR against the crew members on October 14. The crew face allegations of procuring 1,500 litres of diesel through illegal route, are likely to be brought to Chennai.

Police said the case was registered in Tharuvaikulam Marine Police station on October 13 on the complaint by Assistant Commandant, Indian Coast Guard, Tuticorin.


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Tamil Nadu police question all 35 crew members of detained US ship

Tuticorin (TN): Thirty-three crew members of a US firm owned ship, impounded since October 12 for entering Indian territorial waters without authorization and carrying arms and ammunition, were on Friday questioned by local police.

Thirty-three of the 35 members of the vessel 'Seaman Guard Ohio' were escorted to Muthiapuram Police Station for questioning, police sources said.

The remaining two members of the crew, who were allowed to stay on board the ship for carrying out maintenance work, would be taken to the police station later, the sources said.

Speculation is rife that the police is preparing for the formal arrest of ten crew and 25 security guards of the vessel, against whom an FIR was filed on October 14.

A team of Government Hospital doctors have been summoned to the police station to undertake a medical check up of the crew members, indicating their imminent arrest.

Tuticorin District Superintendent of Police S Durai and Superintendent of Police of the "Q" Branch K Bhavaneeswari are supervising the modalities for the arrest.

Among the crew eight are Indians and two Ukranians. The Tamil Nadu special investigation "Q" branch, which has now been tasked with the probe, refused to share details of the on-going investigation. The police action comes a day after the Tamil Nadu Police maintained that the impounded vessel had strayed into Indian waters and defended the Marine police action in detaining it.

The ship was intercepted by the Coast Guard in Indian waters on October 12 and an FIR was registered against 35 persons onboard under the Arms Act and Essential Commodities Act for buying 1,500 litres of diesel illegally with the help of a local shipping agent.