A court in Nigeria has acquitted sailors on the Norwegian vessel dubbed MT Heroic Idun, who had been jailed on accounts of crude oil piracy, on Saturday, per Manorama News.
The vessel had 26 sailors, including 16 Indians. Of these 16, three were Malayalis. The other sailors were from Poland, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
They were detained in August 2022 by the navy personnel associated with the African nation of Guinea, suspecting their association with crude oil piracy. These screw members last sent their messages to their families in November last year.
V Vijith, who hails from Kollam, the brother of Vismaya, who lost his life by suicide following dowry harassment last June, was one of these sailors. The others were Milton Deoth and Sanu Jose from Kochi.
The vessel, owned by OSM Maritime Group, reached Nigeria’s APKO Terminal on 8 August to fill crude oil. It anchored on Nigeria’s international maritime boundary after they were told of some delays owing to technical glitches.
When they saw a boat approaching, they started moving toward the international maritime channel. But, the Guinea Navy managed to detain the ship and crew members the next day, suspecting that the vessel had come to steal oil.
The crew members were taken into custody and interrogated per instructions of the Nigerian Navy.
Reference: The Times of India, Onmanorama
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