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Eight Sri Lankans among crew detained in Equatorial Guinea

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COLOMBO (News 1st) – Eight Sri Lankan sailors, who are part of a 26 member crew of MT Heroic Idun, an oil vessel, have been "illegally" detained by Equatorial Guinea since 14 August.Apart from the Sri Lankan sailors, the crew also includes 6 Indian sailors and a national each of Poland and Philippines.As per the crew, their vessel was arrested by an Equatorial Guinea naval ship on international waters on 12th August and brought to Luba port under naval escort and threat of legal action.The vessel was arrested based on a request made by Nigeria.The Nigerian Navy says it is conducting an investigation into the activities of MT HEROIC IDUN, a supertanker, arrested by Equatorial Guinea forces over alleged crude oil theft in Nigeria.The vessel and its crew were arrested on August 7th by the Central African country after it fled from Nigeria’s AKPO oilfield when its alleged activities were uncovered by operatives of the Nigerian Navy.Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, spokesperson of the Nigerian Navy, confirmed that the vessel is on it way back to Nigeria for further investigations.He said after the investigation is complete, the office of the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) will determine whether or not the vessel and its crew will be prosecuted by the federal government.The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited in September said it loses $700 million every month as a result of oil theft and vandalism at terminals.The Incident: The Heroic Idun ship was supposed to load cargo of crude oil in Nigeria’s AKPO terminal on 8 August, but as per terminal instructions the loading operation was delayed and the ship never made any operations in Nigeria.The same evening, the ship was approached by an unidentified craft claiming.

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