Union Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan, on Saturday said that all efforts are going on at various levels to bring back the 16 Indian sailors on board a Norwegian oil carrier MT Heroic Idan, after Equatorial Guinea authorities handed it over to the Nigerian Naval authorities.
“Once the vessel reaches the Nigerian coast, the Indian Embassy officials will be going to meet the Indians on board the vessel. I have already spoken to the Indian High Commissioner in Nigeria and talks are also going on with Equatorial Guinea and Nigerian officials. All things will be resolved and our men will be brought back,” said Muraleedharan to the media.
He met the media soon after visiting the residence of Sanu Jose, the Captain of the vessel presently in the custody of Nigerian authorities.
The Nigerian Navy has charged that the tanker was involved in an alleged attempt to steal crude oil off Bonny in Nigeria.
The owners of the tanker have already paid a heavy fine imposed on it by the Equatorial Guinea authorities on charges of sailing through that country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) without displaying the Equatorial Guinea flag.