Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan on Thursday confirmed that the crew members and sailors of the detained American ship, which allegedly had illegal weapons onboard, are being charge-sheeted, and said that though the first stage of investigation has been completed, security forces are still vigilant.
"The first stage of the investigation is over....The crew members and the sailors are already being charge-sheeted," Vasan said here.
"The first stage of investigation is over. ...The investigation is yet to be completed and the report will be submitted to the Home Ministry. ... Indian security forces are very vigilant," he added.
Earlier, the Home Ministry asked the Tamil Nadu government to probe into the case and submit a report to the Centre on the purpose of the armed American ship treading into Indian waters.
The detained vessel has been identified as M.V. Seaman Guard Ohio and was intercepted and detained by the Indian Coast Guard about 15 nautical miles east of Tuticorin on Saturday.
FIRs were registered against 10 crew members and 25 guards of the detained ship by the Tamil Nadu Marine Police for illegally carrying arms and ammunition.
According to media reports, a case under the Essential Commodities Act has also been registered against the crew members for buying 1,500 litres of diesel illegally with the help of a Tamil Nadu-based shipping agent.
Media reports also claim that the detained vessel had 10 crewmembers, comprising of two Ukranians and eight Indians. The vessel also has 25 security guards, of which six are British, fourteen are Estonian, one Ukranian and four are Indians.