India has reportedly sought the aid of Nigeria’s authorities to get done with the legal process for a speedy release of 16 crew members of a cargo vessel who’ve been detained since August, the country’s external affairs minister named S Jaishankar mentioned on Thursday.
The 26-member crew of the Norwegian-flagged ship named the MT Heroic Idun was reportedly detained by a naval vessel in international waters on 12 August. Then onward the crew members, including 16 Indians, called on authorities in their home nations to help rescue them.
The vessel was reportedly detained by the Navy of Equatorial Guinea following a request put forward by Nigeria. After initially being held in Equatorial Guinea, the crew was taken to Nigeria.
Answering a question at the Rajya Sabha, Jaishankar mentioned in a statement that the Indian mission based in Abuja has sought the assistance of Nigeria’s authorities and via legal methods for expeditious finalization of legal procedures to expedite the release of India’s crew members.
According to a charge sheet filed by the Nigerian side in court on November 14, three charges were leveled against the 26 detained individuals, including the evasion of lawful interception, conspiracy, and also the illegal export of crude oil.
The country’s government has reportedly been engaged with relevant authorities via missions in Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea since August. Indian is in touch with the firm OSM Shipping Company that operates the ship. Besides Indian nationals, the crew comprises citizens of the Philippines, Poland, and Sri Lanka.
The mission based in Abuja is extending consular services to establish the welfare and safety of crew members from India on MT Heroic Idun and working toward an early release, Jaishankar explained.
The Indian envoy in Abuja has met Indian crew members and the Indian side has taken necessary measures to make sure that the detained men aren’t treated unjustly and can communicate with family members, Jaishankar told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday when responding to the questions coming from the lawmakers.
References: Hindustan Times, Outlook India
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