Kochi, June 11 (BPNS)
Three Keralite sailors who were released from Nigerian captivity after ten months and reached home on Saturday has told media persons that they were forced to drink toilet water in captivity.
The three, Sanu Joseph from Kochi who was the Chief Officer of the Ship, Heroic Idun along with V. VIjith, third officer of the ship from Kollam and Milton D’ couth who was the ship’s oiler and from Mulavukad in Kochi reached home on Saturday to the embrace of the family members.
The ship along with its crew were taken into custody first by the Equatorial Guinea on allegations that the ship had crossed its territorial waters and were in three months custody.
There were reports that the shipping company had paid a heavy ransom to the Equatorial Guinea but they were not released and in between the Government of Nigeria brought in fresh charges that the crew in the ship had smuggled oil from Nigerian oil tankers. The Nigerian police took the vessel and the sailors into custody and the ordeal continued for the next eight months. The Government of India as well as several other agencies intervened in the matter and secured the release of the sailors.
The sailors said that they had suffered too much in captivity as many of them fell ill due to malarial fever and were to be hospitalized.
One of the sailors said that they had lost hope and never expected to see the family and friends again.