Five Indian nationals, who were released after being put in jail four years ago in the West African nation of Togo on charges of piracy, are now set to return home, the External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday.
In his weekly media briefing here, ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the five Indians -- Anthony Godwin, Navin Niravath Gopi, Tharun Babu, Nithin Babu and Shaji Abdulla Kutty -- belong to Kerala .
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about their release on Wednesday.
We have secured the release of 5 Indians from Kerala jailed in Togo. Good work by Indian mission in Accra and Consulate in Togo.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 1, 2017
Swarup said all the five, who had been in prison since 2013, “were released by a presidential pardon, on account of the persistent efforts of the Ministry of External Affairs and our High Commission in Accra (Ghana)”.
“High Commissioner spoke to the Indian nationals after their release,” he said. “They are in good health and are looking forward to re-unite with their families in India.”
The spokesperson also said travel arrangements were being made to facilitate their return to India and the air tickets were being organised through the Indian Community Welfare Fund.
“Honorary Consul General of India in Lome is making stay arrangements till the necessary formalities for their departure to India are completed,” he added.