Last Thursday, the Marine Express was hijacked by pirates with all the crew members and the complete oil cargo it was carrying. The oil tanker that was hijacked by pirates bears registration in Panama. In a pleasant turn of events, the 22 Indian Nationals, the crewmen, who were onboard and the complete oil cargo that was hijacked by pirates has been released. Although, whether or not a ransom was paid for the release remains unclear.
22 Indian National Hijacked by pirates and Released Unharmed
The crewmen have been released in the Gulf of Guinea, which is near Benin in West of Africa. According to reports all the 22 Indian citizens, onboard the Marine Express are absolutely unharmed and safe. The news of their safety has been shared by the Anglo-Eastern Shipping Company, the HK based company that had hired the crewmen.
This is the second vessel that has been hijacked by pirates this year. Last month, in Jan, another ship had been hijacked by pirates in the same region and was released after 6 days, after a ransom was paid to them.
These incidents bring to light that the earlier feared Somalia waters is no more the most ‘dangerous’ after the stationing of International war-ships. The West African waters have gained the ‘most dangerous’ title with over a vessel being hijacked by pirates every week last year.
Indian FM Expresses Relief over Release of vessel Hijacked by Pirates
The Foreign Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj, took to the social media platform, Twitter, to share the news of release of the crewmen. She tweeted:
I am happy to inform that merchant Ship marine Express with 22 Indian nationals on board has been released.
She also expressed thankfulness to the Nigerian and Benin governments for their support, in a separate tweet.