The Centre has sought a report on an armed US-registered ship that was detained by the Coast Guard off the Tamil Nadu coast two days ago. The move comes amid reports that MV Seaman Guard Ohio was not being used for nefarious activities,but was supplying arms to private agencies that have been engaged by shipping companies to piracy in international waters.
Thirty-five persons including former Indian Navy and Army personnel on board the ship have been detained and the Tamil Nadu Marine Police has an FIR registered against them for illegally carrying arms and ammunition. Security forces had seized 31 assault rifles and over 5,000 rounds of ammunition from the ship,which was detained 47 miles from Tuticorin.
Deputy National Security Adviser Nehchal Sandhu played down reports that it was being used to drop weapons in Indian territory. 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 a private security agency.
Personnel told security forces that it was being used for providing security to vessels operating through the piracy-ridden Gulf of Aden.