Amit Shah raises detention of 16 sailors with Nigeria

The sailors are members of the crew of a Norwegian oil tanker detained by the Equatorial Guinea Navy at the behest of Nigerian authorities in August

November 19, 2022 10:09 pm | Updated November 20, 2022 12:19 am IST - NEW DELHI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks during the third ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing, in New Delhi, on Saturday.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks during the third ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing, in New Delhi, on Saturday. | Photo Credit: PTI

Home Minister Amit Shah raised the case of 16 Indian sailors who have been detained in Nigeria for the last three months during a bilateral meeting with his Nigerian counterpart on the sidelines of a counter-terrorism financing conference on Friday.

“We also discussed the Indian sailors who were apprehended recently. I want to assure that we respect India and tender respect to all Indians,” said Nigerian Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, speaking to reporters after the conclusion of the No Money for Terror conference on Saturday.

Norwegian oil carrier MT Heroic Idun was detained by the Equatorial Guinea Navy at the instance of their Nigerian counterparts on August 12. The vessel had on board 26 sailors, including 16 from India, who have been detained since.

After the meeting, the Ministry of Home Affairs tweeted that the two Ministers “discussed several important issues including political, trade & commerce, defence, capacity building, development partnership, consular issues etc.”

The Nigerian Minister said that talks are going on to hold the next NMFT conference in Nigeria, but added that he would only be able to say anything conclusively after discussions with concerned authorities back home.

When asked about a large number of Nigerians being involved in drug trafficking, Mr. Aregbesola said, “We regret any one of us involved in crime. My advice to India was that law should take its course. Due process and appropriate trial of whoever is caught in a criminal act in India must be undertaken and let them serve their term.” He added that the head of Nigeria’s drug enforcement agency, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, would visit India soon to discuss ways to reduce the involvement of Nigerians in drug trafficking in India.

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