AdvanFort vessel arrested with illegal arms onboard

Mumbai: In the latest embarrassing setback to US security firm AdvanFort, the private maritime security company (PMSC) has had one its ships arrested in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Coast Guard detained the Sierra Leone-flagged Seaman Guard Ohio on Friday night. The ship was brought into Tuticorin port on Saturday morning.

The vessel, with 25 armed guards onboard, was carrying firearms without the requisite documents to transit Indian waters. The ship was on its way to the Gulf to carry out security patrols, the coast guard said.

In March of this year, AdvanFort pleaded guilty to a felony in a US court, charged with aiding and abetting the making of a false statement during the acquisition of firearms. Advanfort had bought weapons in an illegal manner in 2011. A fine and a two-year probation was the sentence from the court.

AdvanFort, which has a strong marketing budget, has used certain US media outlets to try and limit the damage from the US embarrassment. AdvanFort has yet to issue a statement on this latest alleged misdemeanour.  [13/10/13]