Ex-British Troops Get Jail Terms In India The men were on an armoury ship that provides protection against pirates for ships sailing in the Indian Ocean. Six former British soldiers have been jailed for five years by the Indian authorities. The men were convicted by a court in the southern state of Tamilnadu of entering Indian territory illegally and possessing arms and ammunition without paper. The Britons are among a group of 23 foreign nationals from the UK, Ukraine and Estonia, as well as 12 Indians, who have been sentenced. Defence lawyers say they will appeal. The crew were part of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio ship, a US-owned ship registered in Sierra Leone. It is an armoury ship that provides protection against pirates for ships sailing in the Indian Ocean. The ship was intercepted on 12 October 2013 within Indian waters and was found with 35 automatic guns and almost 6,000 rounds of ammunition. The crew had spent nine months in prison before being given bail and told to remain in the country in July 2014 when the Madras High court dropped all charges. Intelligence agencies appealed against the decision and were then allowed to try the case in the sessions court of Tuticorin. In his order, Judge N Rajasekaran said the captain had failed to obtain the proper approvals before entering Indian waters, and the licence obtained in Sierra Leone had not been renewed. Also, there was no proper documents for possessing arms and ammunition. The crew will now return to prison and serve the five-year sentence of "rigorous imprisonment" at the Puzhal central jail. Moments after the judgement, former British army sniper Ray Tindall, one of those convicted, said: "I hope this nightmare will be over soon. They (the authorities) ignored every one of their own Indian laws, every one of the international laws and decided to proceed and prosecute us and jail us ... There's no grounds for what they have done." David Cameron made a personal appeal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the latter visited the UK in November last year. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office say the men have 90 days to appeal against the decision. A spokesperson said: "Our staff in India and the UK have been in close contact with all six men since their arrest to provide support to them and their families, including attending court." Speaking to Sky News, public prosecutor K.Sivakumar said the Modi-led central government had tried to persuade him to lessen the charges and show leniency. He said: "I have to go by the law and the State Government has backed me all the way. Officers from the Intelligence Bureau have been attending the court sessions for over a month. "The state government of Tamilnadu will consider all that the accused have gone through over this period." Mr Sivakumar added that the lawyers for the accused had "messed up the case from the beginning even after being paid huge amounts of money. They were not specialised in dealing with marine cases or these kind of cases involving foreigners".