Tyne & Wear

British crew of MV Seaman Guard Ohio face new setback

MV Seaman Guard Ohio Image copyright AP
Image caption Indian authorities had said they found weapons and ammunition which had not been properly declared

Six British former servicemen who spent months in an Indian prison have suffered another setback in their attempts to return home.

The MV Seaman Guard Ohio crew were accused of illegally possessing weapons while working on a private US-owned ship providing anti-piracy protection.

The men, including Nick Dunn, of Ashington, Northumberland, had the charges dropped in July.

But police have asked the country's supreme court to consider an appeal.

Along with Mr Dunn, the men arrested on 12 October 2013 are:

  • Billy Irving, from Connel, Argyll
  • Ray Tindall from Chester
  • Paul Towers from Pocklington, North Yorkshire
  • John Armstrong from Wigton, Cumbria
  • Nicholas Simpson, from Catterick, North Yorkshire

All of the men, apart from Mr Towers, were released on bail in April.

The charges against them were quashed in July but their passports were retained by Indian authorities.

Image caption Nick Dunn said he is disappointed by the latest development

Mr Dunn told the BBC he had not been paid by his employers, AdvanFort, and he is reliant on money being sent by his family.

He said: "The company have not paid me for one year, my family is going through financial strain and the British government have said they will not fund me. They won't even pay for a hotel room.

"I feel totally let down, especially being an ex-serviceman."

Mr Dunn believes his chances of returning to Britain in time for Christmas would be "slim" if the supreme court decides to consider the appeal.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We continue to offer consular assistance to the individuals concerned and their families.

"We also continue to raise the issue at the highest level."

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