After a week in detention India has impounded a US-owned private security anti-piracy ship and arrested its entire crew of 35.
They have been charged with failing to present documents authorising the transport of weapons and ammunition in Indian waters.
The crew includes British, Ukrainian, Estonian and Indian nationals.
Last year two fishermen were killed off the Kerala coast when Italian marines protecting an oil tanker fired on them.
“If the ship is within our 12-mile nautical limit without permission then
arresting the ship’s crew and capturing the ship is entirely legitimate,” said defence and strategic affairs analyst Bharat Verma.
The ship and crew are being held in the port of Tuticorin. One report suggested the Indian government suspects the MV Seaman Guard Ohio of trying to sell weapons to Indian rebel groups.
The ship is owned by the Washington-based AdvanFort, which says all papers are in order.