Ransom Demanded for Release of Crew of Madina/Apecus in Nigeria
UPDATE MAY 24: The Nigerian Navy has stated that the April 19 pirate attack and kidnapping of 6-7 crew was intentionally misreported. Disagreement between criminal syndicates in illicit crude oil theft attempt. READ MORE
May 20: A ransom of $1 million dollars has been demanded for the release of the seven crew kidnapped from the tanker MADINA (aka. APECUS).
Having made no contact for over a month, the pirates decided to establish communications and contacted the victims’ families directly on May the 20th. Reportedly, the pirates used a satellite phone to contact Bharat Deshwal, a family member of one of the abducted seafarers. The pirates then allowed four of the crew members to talk to Bharat over the phone. They proceeded to then demand a ransom of $1 million dollars for their release. According to Bharat however, they did not provide any details as to how this transaction would take place. Allegedly, the pirates claimed that they’ve yet to be contacted by the shipowner or by any representatives of the Indian embassy in Nigeria.
This latest statement on behalf of the pirates is in direct contrast with the statements by the Indian high commission, who claim to be doing everything they can, in cooperation with the Nigerian government, so as to facilitate the release of the kidnapped seafarers.
Source: ARX MaritimeS
This also comes amid authorities finding the tanker had been involved in suspicious activity.