NEW DELHI – An Indian appeals court has acquitted 35 crewmembers of a private U.S. ship, including six former British soldiers and 10 Indians, who were sentenced last year to five years in prison on charges of illegally transporting weapons and ammunition in Indian waters in 2013.
Justice M. Basheer Ahamed said Monday the charges against them had not been proven. He also said a fine of 3,000 rupees ($65) paid by each would be returned, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The U.S. company that owned the ship said the vessel was involved in anti-piracy operations and had not strayed into Indian waters.
Police seized 35 automatic weapons and about 5,700 rounds of ammunition from security guards on the ship.