Anti-piracy crew members trapped in India have their personal belongings returned (3)
The crew of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio, including 14 Estonian citizens, trapped in a legal limbo in India since October 2013, have finally got their personal belongings back, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports.
An Estonian diplomat, present in Tuticorin when the naval security personnel of AdvanFort had their belongings returned to them, said the procedure was dragged out, but successful.
The Madurai High Court decided to return the personal belongings to the men in April, but has now closed for the summer without reaching a decision on whether to reject the appeal by the police and let the men return to their respective homelands, or not.
The men were first acquitted of all charges of arms violations in Indian sovereign waters by the supreme court in summer 2014. Following an appeal by the police, the case is now in front of the Madurai High Court, which will not reopen until July.
The men were arrested when their ship, which was protecting other ships from pirate gangs, sought refuge from a storm at the Tuticorin port (V.O.Chidambaranar Port) in Tamil Nadu.