The Hush Post | 3:15 pm | One-minute-read
The Shipping Ministry released a statement saying that five Indian sailors, including Ankit Hooda from Assan village of Rohtak district, were rescued from pirates in the high seas of Nigeria.
According to the reports, the five seafarers are now in the custody of the Nigerian Navy and the Indian Embassy authorities in Nigeria.
The sailors were rescued by the joint efforts of Ministry of Shipping, the Directorate General of Shipping and the High Commission of India in Abuja.
Mansukh L Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Shipping, tweeted, “Our commitment to protect each and every Indian working overseas. 5 Indian seafarers were kidnapped in Nigeria on 19/04/2019. For this inter-ministerial group of officers has been set up by the GoI to deal the situation. Happy to share that they were successfully released today.”
The five sailors, Ankit Hooda, Sudeep Choudhary, Chirag Yadav, Pulcha Sai Avinash, and Moogu Ravi were kidnapped by pirates from MT Apecus on April 19.
Initially, the pirates demanded one million dollars but later they came down to half a million dollars. They made the seamen talk to their families through a satellite phone.
However, the ship owner’s company, Petronas Carriers LLC, refused to admit that the sailors were their employees. Moreover, they said that they found the sailors in the area of Tema (Ghana), on which they gave them shelter on humanitarian grounds.
Ankit Hooda’s brother, Bharat Deshwal said, “Happy on hearing the news, Ankit’s mother is eagerly awaiting her son’s return. We have been told that it might take a few more days for the paperwork to complete for the return of sailors.”