3 Keralite sailors on Norwegian oil vessel detained in Equatorial Guinea

A Norwegian oil vessel was detained by Equatorial Guinea and its 26 sailors, including 3 Keralites, are also in custody.

According to the sailors who have communicated with their families, they were detained on suspicion of crude oil piracy.

The Norwegian ship Heroic Idun, which had reached the AKPO Terminal in Nigeria on August 8 to fill crude oil, was intercepted by a Guinea naval ship when it set sail and detained.

According to reports arriving from the ship, the Norwegian ship owners had even offered $2,00,000 as ransom money but the Guinea Navy didn’t agree.

One of the crew members from Kerala is Navigating officer, Vijith from Sasthamkotta in Kollam. Talking to media persons from the ship, he said that they are worried about the ship being handed over to Nigerian authorities and they suspected a Nigerian hand behind the detaining of the vessel.

“A Nigerian naval vessel has anchored near to our ship and we don’t know what will happen to us. We want the Indian government to intervene and rescue us,” he said.

Global ship tracking sites have spotted the Norwegian ship still in the Gulf of Guinea on the West African coast on Sunday.

According to shipping industry sources, oil piracy is rampant in the Gulf of Guinea.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan told media persons in Thiruvananthapuram that the Indian government would bring the Indian sailors detained in Guinea back to India. He also said that ministry officials have contacted the government officials there to prevent the handing over of the sailors to the Nigerian Navy.

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