Shipping Minister G K Vasan on Wednesday ruled out US ship's movement off Tuticorin port till the probe gets over by saying that Tamil Nadu Q Branch Police has already taken over the investigation from Marine police.
"We are still to find answers to many questions, the probe will bring out the truth. Till then, the ship will not be allowed to move out of Tuticorin port", he told reporters on Wednesday.
Vasan's remarks assumed significance in the backdrop of BJP voicing concern over what it called the Centre's "silence" over the detaining of M V Seaman Guard Ohio and its demand that the government come clean on the issue.
Meanwhile, a Q Branch team, led by Superintendent of Police K Bhavaneeswari, questioned some crew members and obtained details on various issues, including the arms and ammunition stored onboard the vessel on Monday.
The US-based ship was on Saturday detained off Tuticorin port for illegally carrying arms and ammunition.
The ship flying the Sierra Leone flag was intercepted by the Coast Guard in Indian waters some 15 nautical miles off Tuticorin coast on October 12 and an FIR was registered against 35 persons onboard under the Arms Act for carrying arms without authorisation and Essential Commodities Act for buying 1,500 litres of diesel illegally with the help of a local shipping agent.