M A I N   N E W S

Kidnapped workers return from Nigeria
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, November 3
Three Indian workers who were working at an oil rig in Nigeria and were kidnapped by armed terrorists to extort money returned to their homes in southern Tamil Nadu with a nightmarish experience.

The three workers, hailing from a village in Tirunelveli district, 600 km from here, were among the six who were kidnapped by the armed terrorists from their ship off the Nigerian coast last week.

They were freed only after their employer, an Italian oil company, Eni Spa, paid Rs 25 crore to the terrorists. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Kamaraj, Ponnambalam Vinod and Kumaresan Mohandas were on board a vessel attached to an offshore oil rig when they, along with two Poles and an Indian worker from Maharashtra, were kidnapped on October 26.

They said that neither the Indian nor the Nigerian governments did anything to free them from the captors who might have killed them had the ransom not been paid.

Kamaraj said, “On the morning of October 26, our ship was surrounded by eight boats. The boats had armed men on them and they boarded our ship. All of us had locked ourselves inside our rooms and switched off the lights as we knew that pirates had surrounded our ship. Only the captain was in the control room.” he said.

They said, “The pirates started firing on the locked doors till the captain handed over the master key to them”.

They said they had not decided about going back.



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