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India detains crew of US ship carrying weapons

NEW DELHI — Indian police on Monday questioned the crew of a ship accused of illegally transporting weapons and ammunition in Indian waters.

Police in the port of Tuticorin filed a complaint against the crew and 25 armed security guards aboard the Seaman Ohio after they failed to produce documents allowing them to carry the weapons, coast guard officials said.

A coast guard official said the ship is owned by a Virginia-based security company, AdvanFort. Police said the ship’s captain told investigators that AdvanFort provides armed escorts to merchant vessels traveling in pirate-infested waters in the Indian Ocean. The ship had 10 crew members and 25 armed security guards from India, Britain, Estonia, and Ukraine, officials said.

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In a separate ship seizure off Venezuela, authorities charged Igor Bekirov, the Ukrainian captain of an oil research ship, with illegally sailing in Venezuela’s maritime economic zone, waters that are disputed with neighboring Guyana. The other 35 crew members, including five US citizens, remain in custody. The vessel was conducting a seismic study for Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. under a concession from Guyana.

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