A court in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin city has granted bail to all 35 crew members arrested from the US-owned Sierra Leone-flagged private maritime security vessel 'Seaman Guard Ohio' detained since October 2013, reports the Business Standard (India).
Citing the advocate acting for the crew members, Business Standard says that police had been due to file a charge sheet within 60 days of the arrests, but had failed to do so, and hence the court granted bail.
The Coast Guard escorted the ship with 35 people - 10 crew and 25 security guards - to Tuticorin port Oct 12, 2013. Officials from various security departments questioned the ship's personnel after automatic rifles, bullets and other arms were found onboard the vessel.
The newspaper adds that it was not clear what the ship was doing in the Bay of Bengal instead of the Indian Ocean, but owners, Advanfort, said the vessel had entered Indian waters to shelter from Cyclone Phailin.
Source: Business Standard/IANS