22/06/2004

Detained UK sailors will be prosecuted by Iranians, reports claim

The eight Royal Navy personnel who were arrested yesterday after apparently straying into Iranian waters will be prosecuted, it has been reported today.

The Iranian broadcaster, Al Alam, has reported that the Navy personnel strayed around 1,000 metres across the "marine border" when they were detained by a Revolutionary Guards patrol.

The eight men are being interrogated by authorities at an as yet undisclosed location. Last night, Al Alam broadcast pictures of the men sitting silently together in a room. They appeared to be unharmed.

The Foreign Office has demanded to see the eight men but so far consular access has been denied.

The MoD confirmed today that eight men belonged to the Royal Navy Training Team (RNTT), based in southern Iraq, and were in the process of delivering a boat from Umm Qasr to Basrah when they were arrested.

The men were travelling in two Boston Whalers – a type of small motorboat – and one British Army combat support boat along the Shatt al Arab waterway yesterday. The boats were unarmed but the crews were carrying their personal weapons, the MoD said.

The RNTT was set up in July 2003 as a six-man team to assist in the formation of the Basra River Police. Today the team stands at 31 Royal Navy and Royal Marines and operates throughout Basra Province along 380km of internal waterways, mentoring the Iraqi Riverine Patrol Service.

In addition to training, the RNTT conducts "front line operations" to counter various types of smuggling as well as "continuing the campaign against terrorism".

(gmcg)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

23 June 2004
Iran set to release captive British sailors today
The eight British sailors being held by Iranian authorities are expected to be released later today. According to Reuters reports, Iran's foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi told the state-run IRNA news agency that the men would be released today.
18 September 2009
Stamps Mark Naval Heritages
Weapons Engineer, Sandy Jardine - pictured on HMS Daring - the Royal Navy's newest, most powerful destroyer, lent a hand to launch Royal Mail's Royal Navy Uniforms Special Stamps. He was helping out as Royal Mail charted over two centuries of Royal Navy uniforms on six new stamps just issued.
27 April 2015
Nine Arrested Over Drug Seizure On Tugboat
Nine men have been arrested in connection with cocaine found onboard an ocean-going tugboat in the North Sea. The National Crime Agency said that intelligence received led to a joint operation with Border Force and the Royal Navy, to intercept MV Hamal, around 100 miles off the coast of Aberdeenshire.
02 June 2015
Eight Men Arrested Following Dawn Raids
Over 100 police officers have carried out a series of raids concerning child sexual exploitation offences in Oxford. Eight men were arrested following the raids at 6am this morning 2 June. Police are investigating approximately 60 offences in connection with the operation relating to female victims in Oxford between 1999 and 2007.
08 January 2007
Iraq helicopter crash was 'accident'
A crash between two Royal Navy helicopters at the beginning of the Iraq war was an accident, a coroner has ruled. Seven men were killed when the two Sea King helicopters crashed into each other on March 22, 2003. One of the helicopters was returning to HMS Ark Royal, while the other was leaving the ship when the accident happened.