Indian court on Monday, November 27, released from custody of 35 crew members of an American vessel, detained as early as 2013 in the territorial waters of India. Law enforcers accused the crew of illegal transportation of weapons.
The Court of Appeal overturned the verdict of the crew and the ship guards in 2016. Among the arrested were only 35 people – Ukrainians, Estonians, British, Indians. In 2016, men were sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Their vessel was detained by the Indian Coast Guard near the shores of the State of Tamil Nadu in October 2013. On board, 35 assault rifles and about 5,700 ammunition items were confiscated. Seamen could not grant permission for the legal transportation of arms to Indian territorial waters.
The Indian court quashed the verdict because of a lack of evidence that the ship had violated the territorial waters of India or posed any threat. The lawyer of seamen said that it is still unknown whether prosecutors will appeal the decision in the Supreme Court of India. The owner of the ship – the American company AdvanFort – said that the ship was involved in an operation to combat piracy, and in Indian waters, he was when the fuel ran out.
Source: Maritime News of Russia