Nine Indian sailors from a merchant ship who were held captive for several months by a local militia in Libya have been released, people familiar with the development said Saturday.
After their release on Wednesday, the Indian nationals reached the Libyan capital Tripoli, where they were received by the Indian ambassador to Tunisia.
It is understood that the group contacted the Indian Embassy in Tunisia on February 15 and informed that the merchant vessel MT Maya 1, where they were working, broke down near the coast of Libya and that they were a local militia have been captured.
The mission immediately contacted Libyan authorities to seek consular access and ensure the group’s safety and repatriation to India as soon as possible.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Indian Mission continued to follow up the case with the relevant authorities in Libya and regularly updated the relatives of the Indian nationals on developments in the case.
The group has been accommodated in a hotel in Tripoli until their exit visa formalities are completed, the individuals said.
The ship is owned by a Greek company and flies the flag of Cameroon. It sailed from Malta to Tripoli with petroleum products.
Of the nine Indian crew members, five are from Uttar Pradesh and one is from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.