Legal inertia sees crew of Seaman Guard Ohio remain behind bars for 2 years without trial

Mumbai: The crew from the private security vessel Seaman Guard Ohio, already detained in India for 625 days without a trial, face a further six months of incarceration before legal proceedings get underway, the Mission to Seafarers has reported today.

The crew of the Advanfort controlled ship were arrested in 2013 accused of entering Indian waters with weapons which they did not have the right documents for.

The Sierre Leone flagged ship was detained on October 12, 2013 by the Indian Coast Guard. The vessel was believed to be en route to the Middle East to carry out security duties. Advanfort is an American private maritime security company headquartered in Washington DC.

The Supreme Court judge in New Delhi has referred the long running case back to the Magistrate Court in Tuticorin, to go to full trial.

“Obviously after long sleepless nights this week, we were devastated to hear that the Supreme Court has upheld the Prosecution appeal, after spending 21 months in India ourselves. Our families are beyond broken, both financially and mentally; to see my wife in tears is heart breaking,” said crewmember Paul Towers.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Sam Chambers…….try getting this story in The Times, because I have repeatedly asked The Times to report on the plight of these men, with no luck whatsoever.

    Catherine Smith
    Aunt to John Armstrong (one of the 35 crew being detained)

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