India police question crew of US ship over arms: reports

India police question crew of US ship over arms: reports
An armed fighter providing security to the local Galmadug administration official hold their high caliber weapons as they stand in a field in the plains near the central Somali town of Galkayo on August 18, 2010. Hobyo has no schools, no clinics and bad drinking water sources. Fighting a losing battle against the sand that has already completely covered the old Italian port, Hobyo's scattering of rundown houses and shacks looks anything but the nerve centre of an activity threatening global shipping. Hobyo pirates have collected millions of dollars in ransoms over the past two years. They even have currency checking and counting machines for the bags of air-dropped cash they receive.

NEW DELHI - Indian police on Friday questioned 33 people aboard a ship operated by a US anti-piracy firm for carrying guns and ammunition in Indian waters without proper permits, reports said.

India's coastguard has said it stopped and detained the ship after discovering the cache of weapons and ammunition before escorting it on Saturday to the southern port of Tuticorin.

Police launched an investigation into the 10 crew and 25 armed security guards of the Seaman Guard Ohio which is registered in Sierra Leone and belongs to the US-based maritime security firm AdvanFort.

The 35, who include British, Estonian, Ukrainian and Indian nationals, were detained over the cache of some 30 assault rifles and around 4,000 rounds of ammunition, according to the Times of India website.

Thirty three of them were taken to a local police station for questioning, while two remained on board, it said, citing unnamed police sources.

The crew had not maintained a log of the arms on board, according to NDTV, also using unnamed sources.

The incident comes after a furore over the shooting deaths of two Indian fishermen allegedly by two Italian marines off the coast of the southwestern Indian state of Kerala in February last year.

The southern tip of India is close to major trading routes from Asia and Europe and some cargo ships now travel with armed guards to deter pirates.

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