Remaining two crew of US ship, 3 diesel agents held

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SummaryThey are facing charges under the Arms Act and Essential Commodities Act.

A day after taking 33 crew members of a US firm-owned ship into custody for allegedly carrying arms in Indian waters illegally, Tamil Nadu police Saturday arrested the remaining two people who were left to take care of the vessel’s maintenance, after alternative arrangements were made for the same.

Police also detained three locals, who were suspected to have illegally sold 1500 litres of diesel to the ship ‘M V Seaman Guard Ohio’, owned by a private firm in the US, police said.

High drama preceded the arrest of the two as the ship’s Chief Engineer Sedo, a Korean, allegedly attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself from the flagtmast but the alert port security personnel, including Central Industrial Security Force, foiled it and rushed him to the port hospital, police said. After doctors at the hospital declared him normal, he was arrested, police said.

Thirty-three crew members of ship were arrested Friday on charges of illegally carrying arms and ammunition and straying into Indian territorial waters without permission and remanded to 14 days judicial custody by a court here. They are facing charges under the Arms Act and Essential Commodities Act. The Q Branch police, which took over the investigation into the case, have seized 35 arms and about 5,680 rounds of ammunition from the vessel, whose crew included 12 Indians.

Investigation by the state’s police wing in the last three days has revealed the vessel was found in the country’s territorial waters and was in possession of a huge quantity of arms and ammunition, without valid authorisation of documents, police said.

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