East Yorks man jailed for five years in India

Published: Monday 11th January 2016 by The News Editor

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An East Yorkshire man has been sentenced to five years in prison in India on firearms charges, reports the BBC.

Paul Towers, from Pocklington, is one of six former soldiers from the UK to be jailed following work on an anti-piracy ship.

They were arrested on firearms charges in October 2013 when the vessel they were on was found to be full of weapons.

While the charges were initially dropped, the Indian authorities appealed against the decision and have now won their case after a court in the state of Tamil Nadu upheld the claim that the ship, owned by an American company, was not properly licensed.

The firm offered armed protection services to vessels sailing through “pirates’ alley” between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.

Customs officials and police found 35 guns, including semi-automatic weapons, and almost 6,000 rounds of ammunition on board.

All 35 of the ship’s sailors and guards received five-year sentences and were ordered to pay 3,000 rupees (£30).

Mr Towers and the five other British men – Nicholas Simpson, from North Yorkshire, Nick Dunn, from Northumberland, Billy Irving, from Argyll, Ray Tindall, from Chester, and John Armstrong, from Cumbria – have consistently denied any wrongdoing and claim they have been abandoned by their American employers.

Copyright Press Association 2016

Published: Monday 11th January 2016 by The News Editor

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