Port Harcourt court has ordered the release of crew of Heroic Idun that was detained by authorities in Equatorial Guinea last August.
he seafarers were being held in Nigeria and face charges for alleged involvement in oil theft and ‘faking’ a piracy attack in breach of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act. However, the ship’s owners claimed that there had been no unlawful activity.
On 8 August 2022, the Heroic Idun arrived at Akpo offshore terminal in Nigeria. Due to a change to the security plan, Heroic Idun complied and moved 10 – 15nm from the terminal.
During the evening an unidentified vessel approached. The approaching vessel did not provide confidence that this was a legitimate Navy vessel. The Heroic Idun had successfully escaped what was thought to be an act of piracy. However, later it was confirmed to be the Nigerian Navy Vessel Gongola intercepting Heroic Idun due to the missing clearances and accused Heroic Idun of attempted oil theft.
On 14 August 2022, Heroic Idun was approached by the Equatoguinean navy and escorted to Malabo, Bioko, Equatorial Guinea and subsequently to Luba Bay, where the vessel was detained. There were 26 people onboard, including 16 Indians. The others were from Poland, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. 15 crewmembers were taken ashore and had been held in detention at Malabo for many months while the remaining crewmembers were left on the ship.
On 11 November the authorities in Equatorial Guinea handed the vessel over to the Nigerian navy and the vessel and crew were escorted under armed guard to Nigeria.
Since then, various organizations had been advocating for the fare treatment of the seafarers onboard who were faced with illnesses and inhuman conditions.
on April 28, a court in Port Harcourt ordered the crew of the Heroic Eden to pay a fine of $11,000 to the owner after tireless efforts by the All India Seafarers' Union. After this agreement, all the seafarers on Heroic Eden will released to their homeland. pic.twitter.com/wHfbYP8tKQ
— All India Seafarers Union (@AllSeafarers) May 2, 2023