Posted on May 23, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Nigerian Pirates who took the crew of the Palau-flagged Oil Tanker, MT APECUS hostage, have demanded one million dollars in exchange for their release.
The 6 seafarers, five of which are Indian nationals, were kidnapped from the tankship during a pirate attack that occurred in the outer anchorage of Bonny Island, Nigeria on April the 19th.
Having made no contact for over a month, the pirates decided to establish communications and contacted the victims’ families directly on May the 20th.
Reportedly, the pirates used a satellite phone to contact Bharat Deshwal, a family member of one of the abducted seafarers.
The pirates then allowed four of the crew members to talk to Bharat over the phone. They proceeded to then demand a ransom of $1 million dollars for their release. According to Bharat however, they did not provide any details as to how this transaction would take place.
Allegedly, the pirates claimed that they’ve yet to be contacted by the shipowner or by any representatives of the Indian embassy in Nigeria.
This latest statement on behalf of the pirates is in direct contrast with the statements by the Indian high commission, who claim to be doing everything they can, in cooperation with the Nigerian government, so as to facilitate the release of the kidnapped seafarers.