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Thread: Indians seize MV Seaman Guard Ohio

  1. #1
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Indians seize MV Seaman Guard Ohio

    The American ship, detained by Coast Guard for carrying arms and ammunition off Tamil Nadu coast, may escape action if it is established that the vessel was cruising beyond Indian territorial waters, a top official said today.

    "You have to understand that our territorial waters extend upto 12 nautical miles. Anything that happens beyond that is not within the realm of our control," Deputy National Security Advisor Nehchal Sandhu told reporters on the sidelines of function in New Delhi.

    "So, if there is a ship beyond that and doing whatever it is doing, then what can anybody do in terms of law. You cannot concoct law," he said.

    The vessel, MV Seaman Guard Ohio, whose crew included eight Indians, was intercepted and detained by the Indian Coast Guard east of Tuticorin on Saturday.

    An FIR has been registered against 10 crew members and 25 guards of the detained ship by the Tamil Nadu Marine Police for illegally carrying arms and ammunition.
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-...0.aspx?hts0021
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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    The Seaman Guard Ohio is operated by AdvanFort, a private counter-piracy security company. the private security and maritime aspect interested me, so I spent a bit of time browsing the corporate webiste and by all appearances, it is a tight, professional outfit.

    Its press release of the incident thanked Indian officials for allowing the ship to shelter in port and avoid the recent Typhoon.

    Given the stated mission of the ship, somebody needs to employ commonsense and get it back on its way.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    In the Private Military Companies area we have IIRC long ago discussed their maritime role, invariably against Somali pirates and it has regularly featured in the Somalia piracy thread.

    The location is interesting too, in the straits between India and Sri Lanka:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoothukudi

    Somali pirates are known to have been active off India's western coast.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Absolutely David, and the head of AdvanFort said in an interview that the effectiveness of counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, as well as Somali success with motherships, has resulted in a broader area of operations for the pirates.

    They've pushed so far east that the boundary for insurance premium payments has shifted right along their AOs.

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    I wonder if AdvanFort stepped on some official toes or didn't pay the right person or didn't pay enough.
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A moving sea

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    I wonder if AdvanFort stepped on some official toes or didn't pay the right person or didn't pay enough.
    Carl,

    I fear the imperial legacy for India is not corruption, rather bureaucracy. There is probably some national level understanding of the problems posed by PMC maritime operations, which has not migrated too far down India labyrinth civil-military structures - so the Coast Guard did what their duty required.

    JCustis posted (in part):
    Its press release of the incident thanked Indian officials for allowing the ship to shelter in port and avoid the recent Typhoon.
    AdamG cited an Indian news report:
    The American ship, detained by Coast Guard for carrying arms and ammunition off Tamil Nadu coast, may escape action if it is established that the vessel was cruising beyond Indian territorial waters, a top official said today.
    I am sure this happens elsewhere, heaven forbid the USCG would do such a thing.
    davidbfpo

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    Seaman Guard Ohio, registered in the West African country of Sierre Leone, docked in the V O Chidambaranar port since October 12, having 31 assault rifles and more than 5000 rounds of ammunition in the ship, which were confiscated by the authorities.

    Police also said they found weapons and ammunition on board, which had not been properly declared. Officials say the vessel was not authorised to carry arms in Indian waters and that it never produced the necessary paperwork.

    The men had been booked under two sections of the Indian Arms Act that prohibits possession of weapons without permission. A case under Passport Act and Essential Commodities Act was also registered for procuring fuel in Indian waters in an unauthorized manner.

    Police also detained three locals, who were suspected to have illegally sold diesel to the ship.

    Analysts say that anti-piracy measures on high-risk shipping routes are poorly regulated and India is increasingly sensitive to violations of its maritime boundaries because of the Mumbai carnage when the terrorists sneaked in by the sea.

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    Default Conflicting and Confusing Reports

    This is confusing. Something isn't making sense.

    If you go to the AdvanFort site, there is something posted from October 17th, a Boarding Clearance Certificate from the Coast Guard that says, "....the inspection did not reveal any violation under the above referred Act." Link as follows:

    http://www.advanfort.com/Indian-Coas...to-MV-OHIO.pdf

    Also, the company has written:

    The certificate, dated September 9th, specifically noted that it "did not reveal any
    violation under the above referred Act" (the Maritime Zones of India Act, 1981) and
    "rules made there under as amended to enforce this Law."

    The inspection included both the OHIO as a vessel, as well as its necessary
    documentation.

    The certification was issued while the OHIO was in the Indian Port Tuticorin.

    AdvanFort International would also like to thank Indian Deputy National Security
    Advisor Nehchal Sandhu for his comments earlier yesterday, when he told reporters:

    "You have to understand that our territorial waters extend up to 12 nautical miles.
    Anything that happens beyond that is not within the realm of our control. So, if there is
    a ship beyond that and doing whatever it is doing, then what can anybody do in terms of
    law?

    “You cannot concoct law,” he added.
    So what then happened in port? Are the men being detained currently? What are the charges? Can they be viewed by the public?

    Whose job is it in country to visit the American citizens, someone from the Embassy/Consulate? The British citizens have been visited, apparently, what about the others?

    The reports are conflicting and contradictory in the media. What happened?
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    Default Didn't see this originally....

    The men had been booked under two sections of the Indian Arms Act that prohibits possession of weapons without permission. A case under Passport Act and Essential Commodities Act was also registered for procuring fuel in Indian waters in an unauthorized manner.
    So, why was a certificate issued? What changed? Was the ship outside Indian waters and did it follow the Coast Guard at its request? If that is the case, how does the Indian Arms Act strictly follow? Did the ship make a mistake in following the Coast Guard or did someone override the initial inspection? Why?
    “I am practicing being kind instead of right” - Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

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    Default Murky Waters

    (CNN) -- Italy has moved to defuse a diplomatic dispute with India by agreeing to send back two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen last year.
    The two Italian marines are due to face trial in India over the allegations, but after the Indian Supreme Court allowed them to return to Italy last month to vote in national elections, Rome refused to send them back.

    That decision angered Indian government officials and Supreme Court justices, who noted that the Italian ambassador had given assurances to the court that the marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, would come back to India after the elections.

    The court responded last week by temporarily banning the ambassador, Daniele Mancini, from leaving India, a move that Italy said violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

    The two sides appeared locked in an impasse, with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying Italy's actions were "not acceptable" and warning of "consequences" for the two countries' relations.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/world/...italy-marines/



    Is there something political going on with the detention? Election related?

    So, why did the inspection results change?
    “I am practicing being kind instead of right” - Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

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    Default Interesting

    New Delhi: Tearing into the UPA government after the Italian government refused to send back two Italian marines guilty of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast back to India, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said that the government must ensure that marines return to face trial in India.

    “It’s a betrayal, a bluff by the Italian government. It is a bluff against the Supreme Court of India,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
    http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation...jp_834743.html

    Any SAJA journalists covering this?

    http://www.saja.org/about
    “I am practicing being kind instead of right” - Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

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  12. #12
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    Default Hmmm....

    Again, on the AdvanFort site:

    That tale—as told by others—appears to be critical to understanding the current situation involving the
    MV OHIO.

    The vessel, whose crew included eight Indians, was intercepted and detained by the Indian Coast Guard
    east of Tuticorin on Saturday following an anonymous accusation that the OHIO illegally carried arms and ammunition, as well as had purchased 1,500 litres of diesel “illegally” with the help of a local shipping agent.
    From Oct. 19th press release. It's a bit strange, talking now about the "nebulous" nature of things:

    Unfortunately for private maritime security companies (PMSCs), as The Hindu just pointed out, the incident involving the MV OHIO “has exposed a ‘nebulous area’ in the legality of the rapidly growing
    practice.”

    http://www.advanfort.com/MV%20OHIO%2...ed%20twice.pdf

    What really happened? Is this a case where multiple points of view have validity because we are dealing with(sorry for this) uncharted legal and international norms waters?

    Lawyers lurking and reading? Help out.
    Last edited by Madhu; 10-20-2013 at 03:04 PM. Reason: Added last three sentences
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    Default I'll stop spamming this thread after this....

    MT Desh Shanti, belonging to the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), was detained by Iran at Bandar Abbas Port on August 12 for alleged pollution. It was released on September 6.

    The vessel, which can carry 1,40,000 tonnes of crude, was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps in the Persian Gulf while carrying oil from Basrah in Iraq to Visakhapatnam.

    It was released after SCI, India's largest shipping company, submitted a letter of undertaking to the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organisation.
    http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/ir...ct-ties-418780

    How often are ships being detained these days? Is this increasing?
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    Default NDTV report

    No US nationals? The report doesn't mention any of the things I posted. It didn't present the statements of the shipping company.

    It says that the ship entered the waters illegally. What defines the waters? The NDTV report is different from the 12 miles mentioned above. Was the ship asked to follow the Coast Guard into Indian waters or are the Indians policing waters further out? Again, help from someone that knows about this stuff!

    Why didn't the reporters ask for a statement from the company in the report? It presented only one side. Or did I miss it?

    http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/new...tionals/294740
    “I am practicing being kind instead of right” - Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

    "Throughout the world sounds one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me the chance to do my very best." - Babette's Feast

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    It is rather intriguing that the Sierra Leone registered ship should take contraband diesel, when it could have taken it legally from a Port.

    There appears to be more than what meets the eye.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Indian prison hell of Scots pirate hunter

    Tomorrow, the 33-year-old of Connel, near Oban, will find out if he will at last be freed on bail from Puzhal jail in the Indian city of Chennai.

    But an account of the drama, written by one of Billy’s crewmates, reveals the squalid and degrading conditions in which the seamen are being held. It also reveals how Billy and his colleagues were tricked by Indian police, who told them they were being taken to hospital before locking them up in jail.

    (Billy's father says) We’ve been failed by his employers, AvanFort. We’ve been let down by the Foreign Office and we have no faith in the Indian legal system.
    Link:http://www.sundaypost.com/news-views...unter-1.172483

    Found via an e-petition calling upon UK government to help:https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitio...cdA_ovjhrGDbim
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Billy Irving: Scottish man held in India granted bail

    A BBC report:
    A former British serviceman who has been held in prison in India since October has been granted bail. All six Britons have been in prison in India since 24 October. It is not yet clear if the other five men have been granted bail.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...-west-26748266
    davidbfpo

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Is it surprising that westerners pretend life is so unjust in third world countries and its jails?

    There is a programme on one of the Western TV channels that show the horror of non western jails.

    Am I to understand the western jails are resorts for the jailed?

  19. #19
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Ray you asked:
    Am I to understand the western jails are resorts for the jailed?
    Prison regimes in the West greatly vary, I am sure there are websites that rate prisons.

    In the UK there are irregular press stories that certain prisons, referred to as "open" are relaxed to say the least; in the USA some federal prisons are "Club Fed" IIRC and can host VIPs, such as Spiro Agnew, once a Vice President.

    I do recall a once popular saying, international I expect. "If you cannot do the time, don't do the crime". Some convicted criminals I encountered found non-open prisons here were OK, few seemed to be deterred by their time there.
    davidbfpo

  20. #20
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Slowly moving along

    An update as Indian justice takes time to move:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-34095843

    During the BBC's investigation more people came forward to comment on AdvanFort."I'd say the company are more crooked than the pirates we are trying to stop getting on the ships...The lads out there in India, they're totally innocent, they haven't done anything wrong and the company is just letting them drift" said Dave Taylor, a former employee.
    davidbfpo

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