On Sunday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that five Indian sailors who got kidnapped from a ship in Nigeria earlier this year will return to Mumbai after their release. TS Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) Ministry of External Affairs, stated that “Our seafarers on MT Apecus – Sudeep, Chirag, Avinash, Ankit, and Ravi, who have been released from captivity in Nigeria, are returning to Mumbai tomorrow.”

On April 19, five seafarers were kidnapped by pirates in Nigeria from the vessel MT Apecus. They were detained for more than two months and recently they got release reaching safe custody after joint efforts by MEA and Nigerian authorities.

Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday that “I am happy to share that due to sustained efforts of various stakeholders including Ministry of Shipping, the Directorate General of Shipping and the High Commission of India, Abujam, Nigeria, the kidnapped India seafarers were successfully released and have reached the safe custody of the authorities.”

An Inter-Ministerial Group of Officers (IMGO) was set up by the Central government under the Ministry of Shipping to look after the matter. Several other agencies worked together with the Ministry for the early release of the seafarers. 

The father of Sudeep Chaudhary one of the seafarers, who belongs to Odisha, appealed to Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, for taking action in this matter following which Mr. Pradhan took up the issue with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Union Minister tweeted praising Mr. Jaishankar and Mr. Mandaviya for the release of the sailors, “Thank you S Jaishankar, Mansukh Mandaviya and all the stakeholders for their efforts in securing the release of 5 Indian seafarers including that of Sudeep Chowdhary from Odisha who was amongst our citizens kidnapped by pirates in Nigeria.”

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