Indian sailors who had been detained in Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria for nine months finally returned home on Saturday.
The 16 sailors, who had faced accusations of oil theft by Nigerian authorities, arrived at Kochi Airport in Kerala after undergoing trials and reaching a settlement.
They were warmly welcomed and greeted with garlands at the Kochi airport by their family and Indian Authorities.
Notably, the ‘MT Heroic Idun’ crew who were in detention since August 22, were released with a warning to carefully conduct their maritime-related activities.
Sanu Jose, one of the sailors who returned to India thanked the governments as he reached Kerala after ‘lots of uncertainty’.
“I am very happy that I am now at home with my children. There was a lot of uncertainty about what would happen to our lives and we were told that our lives would end in Nigeria but I thank everyone including the government of India and Kerala government for helping us,” Sanu Jose said while speaking to ANI.
Another sailor V Vijith said that the Government of India made a tremendous effort in this case and they did a great job of getting all the sailors released.
“It was a difficult experience for us but the Government of India made a tremendous effort in this case and they did a great job of getting us released. The value of our passports played a tremendous role in our release. I would like to thank the Ministry of External Affairs and G. Balasubramanian, High Commissioner of India to Nigeria,” V Vijith said.
The ship has a total of 26 crew members out of which 16 are Indians who were first detained in Equatorial Guinea in August 2022 and later moved to Nigeria in November 2022.
This report is filed by ANI news service.