Indian authorities on Friday arrested all 35 crew members of an American ship that entered Indian waters illegally last week carrying 31 assault rifles and around 5,000 rounds of ammunition.
The MV Seaman Guard Ohio is owned by US-based firm AdvanFort, which specializes in protecting merchant shipping from pirates. The vessel was intercepted on Saturday by coast guards east of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, southern India.
AdvanFort claims the ship had entered Indian waters to shelter from cyclone Phailin. The crew includes Indians, Britons, Ukranians and Estonians, but no U.S. citizens.
Indian television channel NDTV says the incident highlights “the poorly regulated practice of private and military armed guards on ships for protection against pirate attacks.”