Posted on July 02, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
After more than two months in captivity, the five Indian seafarers that were kidnapped off the Palau-flagged Oil Tanker, MT Apecus on April the 19th have been released.
According to India’s shipping minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, the captive seafarers, Sudeep Chaudhary, Ankit Hooda, Chirag Yadav, Avinash Reddy and Moogu Ravi, have been successfully rescued and will repatriated soon.
We don’t currently know if any money exchanged hands in order to secure the release of the Indian seafarers.
Back in May, the family of one of the kidnapping victims received a ransom call from one of the pirates.
According to Bharat Deshwal, a family member of one of the seafarers, the pirates demanded a ransom of $1 million dollars in order to ensure their release.
The pirates originally attacked the MT Apecus on April the 19th. The pirates stormed the vessel while it was docked at Bonny River’s Inner Anchorage and made off with the 5 seafarers.
India proceeded to set up an inter-ministerial group of officers in order to deal with the kidnapping incident. Through coordination with various agencies, they worked in association with the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and managed to secure the release of the Indian seafarers.
Mr. Mandaviya has gone on record to say that the seafarers were released due to the continued efforts of various groups, including the Indian Ministry of Shipping, the Directorate General of Shipping and the High Commission of India.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic