Malayali officer from detained ship in Equatorial Guinea arrested

The crew in the Norway based ship MT Heroic Idun detained by Equatorial Guinea. Photo: Twitter/AllSeafarers

New Delhi: A Malayali officer, who is among the 16 Indian officers detained by Equatorial Guinea, has been arrested.

The Kochi native Sanu Jose is the Chief Officer of the ship 'MT Heroic Idun'.

After the arrest, Sanu Jose was shifted to an Equatorial Guinea navy ship. It is suspected that he might be handed over to the Nigerian navy.

The crew in the Norway based ship was detained as they allegedly violated the maritime boundary. The ship was taken into custody by Equatorial Guinea as per the instruction of the Nigerian navy.

The Indian mission in the central African country had informed that it is working closely with the authorities concerned for their release. The arrest took place even as the negotiations were progressing.

Twenty six people, including 16 Indians have been detained in the ship since mid-August.

Vijith, the brother of Vismaya, the Kollam native who took her life following domestic violence at her husband's house, is also among the detainees.

In a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Rajya Sabha MP AA Rahim on Monday said the crew of ship 'MT Heroic Idun' included the Indians and they were in detention since mid-August.

On Twitter, the parliamentarian requested Jaishankar to "urgently intervene" in the matter of "illegal detention" of the 16 Indian crew members.

The Indian embassy in that country said on Monday that it has been in regular contact with the crew members over phone.

"This Embassy and our High Commission in Abuja are closely working with authorities of Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria for the early release of crew members of MV Heroic Idun. All crew members are safe and those in the Detention Centre have been shifted to the ship," the Indian embassy in Equatorial Guinea tweeted.

"Since their detention in mid-August, this Mission has been in regular contact with the crew members over phone. We have also had several consular access/ visits to them. We are closely monitoring developments and are actively engaged for an early resolution of the issue," it added.  

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