Ship Captain in Togo jail, wife seeks MEA help
By N Ganesh | ENS | Published: 06th September 2013 09:23 AM |
When Captain Sunil James survived a pirate attack on his tanker in July, he proceeded to report it to the authorities, thinking that the procedure wouldn’t take long. However, when he and his two crew members landed in the West African nation of Togo, off whose coast the attack took place, they were in for a rude shock as they all were arrested.
James’ wife Aditi has now appealed to the External Affairs Ministry to intervene on the issue and secure her husband’s release. “I have no objection to the Togo authorities conducting their investigations. But my husband cannot be held back till they complete their investigations. It’s been more than a month that he is in jail and we still do not know what he is being held for and how long the investigation will take,” she said.
Aditi came to know of her husband’s imprisonment when the latter called her from a fellow inmate’s cell phone. James, along with the two other crew members of his MT Ocean Centurion, has been in prison since July 31. And life has been nothing short of a nightmare for Aditi, who is running from pillar to post to secure her husband’s release.
Still in the dark about the reason behind James’ detention, Aditi is worried about his health as he reportedly doesn’t get proper food, water and medication. James is suffering from fever and has infection in one of his eyes which requires medical attention.
Meanwhile, Union Martime Ltd, the UK-based tanker owner who operates the MT Ocean Centurion, allegedly arranged for a new captain for the tanker and asked it to leave Togo without waiting for the release of James and the other crew members. But the company’s office in London refused to comment.
“His only crime was that he was the captain of the tanker attacked by pirates who fled with valuables and that he went to report the matter,” she said.