An Indian sailor, kidnapped by pirates in Gabon, spent only one month with his wife; grieved parents expect a safe return

In a telephone conversation with Jagran English, Sandeep said that Pankaj, 30, from the village of Chounta in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab, was the second engineer of the MV Tampen, a vessel that sailed from Cameroon to the Arab Emirates. united with its 17 crew members.

Updated: Mon Sep 13 2021 7:12 PM IST

New Delhi | Aalok Sensharma: Pankaj Kumar, the Indian sailor missing from the ship MV Tampen, allegedly kidnapped by sea pirates near the West African nation of Gabon, had spent only one month of his two-year married life at home his heartbroken brother Sandeep Kumar said, adding that his family members are in distress and pray for his safe return.

In a telephone conversation with Jagran english, Sandeep said that Pankaj, 30, from the village of Chounta in the Gurdaspur district of the Punjab, was the second engineer of the MV Tampen, a ship that sailed from Cameroon to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with its 17 crew members. ‘crew. members.

On August 26, Sandeep said that Pankaj called his family and told them that he could not contact them due to a lack of network at sea. Sandeep, however, said that Pankaj, who spoke to the members family for nearly 45 minutes, had promised to contact them once his ship was anchored in a port.

Sandeep said Jagran english that he received a call from Mumbai-based company Proactive Shipping Management on September 26. The shipping company informed that Pankaj’s vessel was anchored in Gabon on August 31 after developing propulsion problems.

(Pankaj Kumar)

“They asked me if I spoke to Pankaj from August 31 to September 5, but I said no,” Sandeep said, “they said Pankaj’s ship was attacked by pirates or terrorists in which two crew members – the chief officer and the chef – were injured and your brother went missing that day “.

Becoming moved by the call, Sandeep said the incident left him in shock as Pankaj meant “everything” to him. Sandeep said Pankaj, along with the chef and chief officer, were captured by the pirates. He said there was no update about him from the company, which informed Gabonese authorities were investigating.

“They said that according to the chef, Pankaj was thrown by the pirates into the backyard of the ship. I asked them about Pankaj and told them my family is in distress. Pankaj got married. barely two years ago. He spent only about a month of his married life at home, “he said. Jagran english.

Days later, Sandeep said the company called him back to confirm his brother had been kidnapped by hackers. On September 12, he also spoke with the chef who told me everything.

“However, the company does not provide me with additional information, leaving my family in distress,” he said in a tone of voice.

Asked about the help he received from the government, he said his family went to the Dinanagar police station, but officials refused to help them, asking them to travel to Mumbai to register the police. first information report (FIR).

Sandeep said his family also tried to contact Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol and spoke to his PA, but they had not received a response from him. “We also tried to contact the Foreign Ministry,” he said. Jagran english.

The MV Tampen, with 17 Indian crew members, was sailing to the United Arab Emirates from Cameroon. However, it was anchored just two kilometers from the Gabonese anchorage of Owendo after encountering some problems. The ship, which is owned by Prince Marine Transport Service Pvt Ltd, was later reportedly attacked by the pirates who kidnapped Pankaj.

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Aalok Sensharma

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