The six men were with 29 other crew members in a US vessel

British PM writes to Modi asking relief for six Brit sailors in police custody in Tamil NaduImage for representation
news Britons arrested Monday, November 30, 2015 - 13:14

 British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the immediate release of six British sailors who were arrested in 2013 for possessing a large quantity of ammunition on board a US vessel.

According to the The Hindu, the letter was reportedly written when PM Modi was in UK on a three-day trip in November 2015.

The six men were with 29 other crew members in a US vessel, which was found anchored in Indian waters off the Thoothukudi port in Tamil Nadu, in October 2013.

The six British nationals were identified as John Armstrong Wigton, Nick Dunn Ashington, Ray Tindall Chester, Paul Towers, Nicholas Simpson Catterick and Billy Irving Connel, who are all ex-military men.

The authorities confiscated their passports after the Supreme Court ordered a retrial in July 2015.

The report quotes a senior government official as saying, “We are in the know of this issue and have had several communication with the Tamil Nadu government on this. We are in the process of finding a solution to this.”

 In 2013, the ‘Q’ Branch of the state CID registered a case against the crew members after the vessel M.V. Seaman Ohio, owned by AdvantFort, a company providing anti-sea piracy solutions, was found anchored off the Tamil Nadu coast.

 The High Court of Madras had earlier quashed the charges filed by the police under the Arms Act. However, a fresh appeal by the state police in the Supreme Court resulted in a re-trial, considering the large amount of ammunition that was recovered from the sailors’ possession.

 

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