British Deputy High Commission officials meet arrested UK crew

A Spokesperson clarified there were no US nationals onboard and no officials had visited the prison.

Written by PTI | Chennai | Published: October 21, 2013 7:52:05 pm

British Deputy High Commission officials on monday met crew members from UK of the detained ship M V Seaman Guard Ohio,who are currently under judicial custody after their arrest last week.

The US-firm-owned vessel impounded by the Coast Guard on October 12 for illegally entering Indian territorial waters,had 35 crew on board,including some UK nationals.

The two-member official team from Chennai met the Britons at Palayamkottai prison this morning after the External Affairs Ministry granted their request for access,a British Deputy High Commission spokesperson told PTI.

The spokesperson,however,did not elaborate on the Commission’s next steps regarding the matter,being investigated by Tamil Nadu Q branch Police which deals with cases relating to extremist activity.

Meanwhile,a spokesperson of the US Consulate General in Chennai clarified there were no US nationals in the said ship and none of its officials had visited the prison.

Jail Superintendent Kanakaraj said one of the arrested crew members threatened to commit suicide in the cell where he was lodged.

Jail authorities deputed psychiatrists who counselled the distressed sailor,he said.

The ship was detained about 10.48 nautical miles off Tuticorin port on October 12 on charges of illegally straying into Indian waters and carrying weapons without valid documents.

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