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Indian Court Sentences US Ship Crew to Five Years Over Arms Possession

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Members of a US ship crew, which includes 12 Indian, six British, 14 Estonian, and three Ukrainian nationals, were sentenced to five years in prison each for illegal possession of arms and entering Indian waters without permission, according to local media.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — An Indian court on Monday found 35 crew members of a US ship guilty of illegal possession of arms and entering Indian waters without permission and sentenced them to five years in prison each, local media reported.

"The Madras high court granted bail to the accused, but we challenged it successfully and ensured that they were nailed," K. Sivakumar, public prosecutor, said, as quoted by The Hindustan Times.

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The court also imposed a fine of 3,000 Rupees ($45) on each member of the crew, which includes 12 Indian, six British, 14 Estonian, and three Ukrainian nationals, the newspaper reported.

Lawyers representing the crew said they would challenge the conviction in India’s Madras high court, according to the media.

The 10-member crew and 25 security guards of the vessel were arrested in December 2013 after their ship was found harbored off the Tuticorin port, loaded with arms including automatic rifles.

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