India last week detained a bulk carrier with a crew of 21 Ukrainian seafarers and two Irish security guards onboard.
The detention was imposed after authorities found four self-loading rifles and live cartridges onboard. It was claimed that the weapons were for defence against piracy.
The vessel in question was the 2004-built, 55,137 dwt “Genco Provence”.
Further details have not been forthcoming, but it is understood that the vessel declared 320 cartridges, but that 392 were found. Such an approach does highlight ¬†the ridiculous inconsistencies being applied by States.
We must support seafarers they say on one hand and spew platitudes about doing all possible to support the fight against pirates, then they take actions like this.
India is not the only country to take such schizophrenic steps – Egypt, for a time, banned carriage of armed guards and weapons through its territorial waters, including the Suez Canal. While South Africa has arrested several masters in similar circumstances.