• The ship, owned by U.S security firm AdvanFort, was stopped on Saturday
  • 33 crew men including six Britons, have been detained by Indian police
  • They claim that a weapons haul onboard was not properly declared
  • But AdvanFort say that the ship was part of an anti-piracy operation
The crew of a U.S-owned ship have been arrested by Indian police accused of entering Indian waters illegally with a stockpile of weapons on board.

The Indian coast guard stopped the ship, which belongs to security firm AdvanFort, on Saturday and detained 33 crew members.

AdvanFort claims that the ship has been supporting an anti-piracy initiative in Asia but Indian authorities say that they found weapons that had not been properly declared.


Arrests: The crew of the Sierra-Leone registered MV Seaman Guard Ohio, pictured, have been detained by Indian police

The company had said that Indian authorities had permitted the ship to enter Indian waters to refuel and to avoid a cyclone that hit the south east of the country last week.

But crew members - from India, Ukraine, Estonia as well as six from Britain - were taken to a police station close to Tuticorin.

Two other crew members were allowed to stay onboard the vessel, which has been docked in Tamil Nadu state.

The British High Commission in Delhi say that they have spoken to the British crew members and Indian authorities but have yet to determine why the men have been detained.

The U.S embassy has declined to comment, according to the BBC.


Danger: Ships travelling in the Indian Ocean are said to be at risk of piracy (file picture)
AdvanFort have said that some of the men onboard the Sierra-Leone registered MV Seaman Guard Ohio are privately contracted security guards hired to provide protection against piracy - which is a threat to ships in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

The group are said to have had rifles, ammunition, medical kit and protective equipment onboard, which the firm claims is all properly registered.

Various agencies, including the Coast Guard and the Intelligence Bureau, have reportedly interrogated the ship's crew.

A report was subsequently submitted to the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs.

According to reports in India, the ship had no log book to account for the weapons on board and none of the men had Indian visas stamped on their passports.