Hijacked ship owners establish contact with captured crew

Hijacked ship owners establish contact with captured crew

The owners Eitzen Maritime Services (EMS) ASA have said that contact has been made with the seafarers.

"We have made contact with the seafarers, who report to be well and well treated," EMS said.

The Nigerian military has already recovered the hijacked chemical tanker 'Sichem Peace' seized by the militants in the Niger Delta region on July 4 and launched a manhunt to secure the release of six hostages including Indian sailor Banjit Singh Dhindsa.

According to EMS, the ship management was working closely with the local authorities and professional advisors to secure the earliest release of its officers and crew members, which remains its absolute priority.

EMS said that there is a dialogue proceeding with those holding the company's crew and that no further information will be provided in order not to jeopardise the safety of those involved.

"The families of those being held are being kept in touch with the situation. EMS Ship Management would ask that this position be respected," it said.

The spokesman of the Nigerian Foreign Ministry Ayo Olukani said the government is following the development and will do everything possible to secure the release of the hostages.

"It is a security situation that involves human lives and much statement may not be necessary, but the appropriate agencies are capable of handling the situation," he said.

Cadet Dhisa was captured alongside people from other countries, namely Captain Yuriy Shastim, Chief Engineer Vasvi Bondarkov, Viktor Koshevoy (all three from Russia), Arivando Galima and Tavares Rouirgo (both from the Philippines).

Meanwhile, the Nigerian senate has summoned National Security Adviser Maj Gen (retd.) Sarki Muktar, Inspector General of Police Mike Okiro, Internal Affairs Minister Maj Gen (retd.) Godwin Abbe and Director General of the State Security Service Afakriya Gadzama to brief it on measures being put in place to curb the growing incidents of hostage- taking in the country.

For security purposes, the senate did not fix a date for their appearance.

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