TN Police seek custody of 3 crew members

TN Police seek custody of 3 crew members

The “Q” branch of the Tamil Nadu Police on Tuesday moved a local court for the custody of three crew members, who were in charge of the armories on the detained US ship MV Seaman Guard, to expedite investigations.

Police sources said that a petition has been filed before Judicial Magistrate C Kathiravan in Tuticorin court for the custody of Lalith Kumar, Rajesh Dhar, both Indians, and a UK national Paul David, who were responsible for the arms and ammunitions on the ship. The case is to be heard on Wednesday.

“At present, these three crew members were lodged in Palliyamkottai jail along with their colleagues. As the case is getting prolonged we have decided to take them into our custody to ascertain whether the arms were transacted mid-sea,” a senior police official from the investigation team said.

“Moreover, we suspect that some crew members have joined the ship only after the vessel left the Kochi coast. Therefore, we need to investigate that also,” he said.

The vessel comprised 10 crew (two Ukranians and eight Indians) along with 25 security guards (six Britishers, 14 Estonians, four Indians and one Ukranian).

The ship, belonging to a US-based company named AdvanFort, providers of maritime security, was detained by the Indian Coast Guard on October 12 after it strayed into Indian territorial waters off the Tuticorin coast. 

The vessel contained arms that did not have legal documents.

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