Kochi: A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Friday extended till August 13 the judicial custody of 12 crew members of an Iranian fishing boat intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard and later handed over to Kerala Police.

First probed by the Kerala Police, the case has since been taken over by the NIA. 

The crew pleaded before the court that they were innocent and they be allowed to talk to their family members back home on phone.

The Coast Guard seized the suspicious boat on the high seas on July 6. The 12-member crew has been lodged in jail ever since.

The crew were found to be using satellite phones and were interrogated by the state intelligence and police as well as Intelligence Bureau officials. 

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