Skip to comments.MV Seaman Guard Ohio: India police arrest crew of US ship
Posted on 10/18/2013 1:09:35 AM PDT by TexGrill
Police in India say they have arrested the crew of a US-owned ship accused of illegally entering Indian waters with a huge cache of weapons.
MV Seaman Guard Ohio was detained on 12 October by the Indian Coast Guard and is anchored at Tuticorin port in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
Its 35-member crew include Indians, Britons, Ukrainians and Estonians.
The vessel, owned by a private US-based security firm, is registered in Sierra Leone, officials say.
The US embassy in the capital, Delhi, told the BBC they had "no comment" to make on the reports.
A police official in Tuticorin said that the crew have been taken to the Motiapuram police station where they are being questioned.
Since February last year, India and Italy have been embroiled in a bitter diplomatic row after India arrested two Italian marines for killing two Indian fishermen.
The marines - who are being prosecuted in India - were accused of shooting the fishermen off the Kerala coast.
They were guarding an Italian oil tanker and said they mistook the fishermen for pirates.
In recent years piracy has emerged as a major threat to merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea, with Somali pirates hijacking ships and their crews for ransom.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
paging Eric Holder...
The “huge cache” is 30 or so semi-automatic rifles, likely some variety of AR-15 based on the few video images I saw, and about 5600 rounds of ammunition.
The MV Seaman Guard is Sierra Leone-flagged, but belongs to a Virginia-based private military contractor called AdvanFort. They have a couple of these boats, and they’re used to provide security to merchant vessels sailing in the Arabian gulf.
I’m going on an assumption, but their presence of the South-East coast of India was to meet up with potential clients leaving the ports of Chennai and Vishakapatnam, though they do say they were in close to the coast to avoid the recent cyclone. That they had been in the region for nearly a month kind of belies that claim though.
The boat’s presence is a bit hinky, due to their long-term presence in the area and a lack of a log book, and they were pretty stupid to get that close to the coast of *any* country without the proper paperwork for their weapons. The Indian gov’t here seems to be trying to make it out as a bigger deal than it is. They’re treating the crew like gun-runners.
Of course, this is the same Indian government that about a month ago threw an American engineer in jail here in Orissa because they found eight .22-cal cartridges in his luggage. He was in-country to do some work at the Paradip port here, and had made it all the way from Houston, through Amsterdam, and Delhi, and was just about to board a private helicopter to take him to the port when they checked his bags. The guy, being from TX, probably used the bag to go to the range at home, and didn’t even realize the rounds were in there. They got all worked up, and are going to be conducting “ballistic tests” on the rounds, and have denied the engineer bail due to the “ongoing investigation”. In case anyone is interested, the engineer’s name is William Michel, from Houston.
Thanks for the intruiging story. Today I learned that the South Korean military does not use its radar in stormy weather, cutting back on military drills, and is ill-prepared for at attack of artillery shelling from North Korea. and now this detailed story about gun-running and piracy just off the coast of India. Is US Attorney General Eric Holder expanding his so-called ‘Fast&Furious Mission on a global scale? Are the Mexican drug cartels shipping weapons to Somali pirates at the behest of Obomba?
Huge cache of weapons I was thinking a hundred tons or so enough for a whole division or something like that.
The shipping and insurance companies have finally gotten smart enough to realize you stop pirates with guns. Governments, however, hate competition.
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