Seized Turkish ship with Indian crew freed
- 23 July 2013
- From the section India
Pirates have released a Turkish cargo ship with a crew of 24 Indians which they hijacked near Port Gentil off the coast of Gabon in West Africa last week.
The Indian crew of MT Cotton is safe and many of them have called home after their release, family members say.
It is unclear if a ransom demand was made by the pirates.
The region has so far been considered safe with no previous hijacking or piracy incident recorded there.
"They are all safe but they have been robbed by the pirates," said Preeti Wahi, wife of MT Cotton's captain, Sishir Wahi.
She said her husband told her the ship was released on Monday. The crew will reach India next week.
Officials at Geden Lines, the Turkish company owning the ship, say the captain has been asked to move the ship at "fullest possible speed" from its present location at the Gulf of Guinea to a "safe port" in West Africa.
"The crew on board the ship are safe and nobody is in need of urgent medical attention. But they have been looted of everything," said Gautam Chatterjee, India's director-general of shipping.
Mr Chatterjee said the pirates had also taken away nearly a third of the ship's cargo.