Reason for detention
The ship-MV Seaman Guard Ohio-was detained on October 12 by the coast guard on information that it was illegally carrying arms and ammunition.
An FIR had been issued against the 10 crew members and the 25 guards when they were unable to produce any documents from the organization they were employed with within the time span of 2 days they were given.
The ship was discovered between the Tuticorin port and Kudankulam nuclear power plant for 30 days, which further raised the suspicion of the authorities.
What do the crew members say?
Preliminary investigations suggest that the ship is under the contract of Virginia-based security company, AdvanFort, but is registered in Sierra Leone.
According to the ship's captain, the company provides security to vessels in pirate-prone areas in the Indian Ocean. This, in fact, is confirmed by the firm's site.
Moreover, India's Deputy National Security Advisor has suggested that the ship may have been a mother ship for security operations in the Gulf of Aden.
"You have had piracy earlier in the Strait of Malacca and now in the Gulf. People who provide such security need a floating armoury. My suspicion is that the boat in Tuticorin is a floating armoury for one of these private security agencies," Nehchal Sandhu said.
A former chief of Intelligence Bureau, Sinfhu's ideas have been reeiterated said piracy has increased in international waters and civil maritime operations have employed private maritime security companies against pirates.
Of the 10 crew members, two are Ukranian and eight are Indian nationals. Apart from this, of the 25 security guards 6 are British, 14 are Estonian, and four are Indians and one is Ukranian.
In fact, the four Indian security guards are ex-Indian Army and Navy personnel.
Two days on...USA is mounting pressure on the Indian government to let the ship go. The Centre too seems to concede as it says that it cannot do anything to ships beyond the Indian waters. Experts believe that this stand by the Indian government is nothing but a field created to follow USA's 'instructions'. The Jaya government, however, has raised its ante against any such decisions by the Centre.