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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Missing sailor’s families cry foul

They suspect the ship was sea-jacked and allege the Mumbai-based recruitment firm colluded with the pirates, reports Presley Thomas.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2008 03:23 IST
Presley Thomas
Presley Thomas
Hindustan Times

Family members of the 25 Indian sailors aboard the Panamanian cargo vessel MV Rezzak, which went missing in the Black Sea on February 18, on Monday sought CBI and Interpol intervention to investigate the disappearance. They suspect the ship was sea-jacked and allege the Mumbai-based recruitment firm colluded with the pirates.

MV Rezzak, managed by CMR Denizcilik ve Ticaret of Turkey and manned by Mumbai-based Pelican Marine, was carrying steel billets in bundles from Russia to Turkey when it lost all communication with tracking centres on February 18.

In a letter to the Centre, the family members also stated authorities of Pelican Marine had threatened them. PTI reported that the manning agent issued letters to the families stating that the crew is feared dead.

Uma Mohan, whose brother (identity withheld on request) was on board, said: “The ship carried steel billets worth about Rs 12.20 crore and MV Rezzak itself was insured for nearly Rs 2,440.20 crore. Why should we not doubt the ship was sea-jacked and the Mumbai firm is party to the booty?”

Mavis Myers, wife of Christopher Myers, said: “The last time I spoke to him was on February 18. His voice was very clear but it got disconnected after a while.” She is confused about how her husband's phone, with a Russian SIM card, was working if the ship was in the Black Sea.

S Biswas, director of Pelican Marine, however refuted the allegations. “Everybody has the right to make allegations. An Indian official has already been sent to Turkey for investigations. I will comment only after he comes out with the investigation report,” he said.