By Stephen Ubanna
More facts have emerged why officials of the Istabul, Turkey, based Boden Denzcilik, a shipping Company, which provides technical support services to the Liberian flagged MV.Mozart, a Container ship, which was abducted on Saturday, January 23, 2021, had been silent on the ransom paid to the Pirates to secure the release of the 15 Kidnapped sailor on board the ship after 21 days in Captivity.
The Company may have kept a closed lips on the issue of ransom ‘’to protect the security and health of the sailors and their families’’. More so, there was fears in both official and unofficial quarters that the Pirates could resort to plan B, of killing the sailors , if the ransom demanded become a public issue and therefore, to keep the matter a closed guided secret.
The Turkish Container ship which was sailing from Lagos , Nigeria, to Cape Coast, South Africa, had been attacked , off the Coast of Nigeria, which was about 100 nautical miles or 185 Kilometers of the Island nation of Sao Tome and Principe and 15 Crew members kidnapped.
Many believe that the Pirates may have succeeded in kidnapping the 15 seamen by forcing their way into a secure room in the ship after a five-hour struggle. They were said to be opening fire and constantly firing randomly outside to scare them. Perhaps, it was one of such strait bullets that was fired that may have hit at the Azerbaijani sailor on the belly, and he died instantly .
Note that the Turkish sailors who had regained their freedom from the custody of the Pirates had been flown back to Istabul, Capital of Turkey, on Sunday, February 14, 2021, on a Turkish Airlines flight. Given the importance attached to the return of the sailors back to the country, Mevlut Cavusoglu, the country’s minister of Foreign Affairs at the instance of Recep Tayip Edogan the President and several other top government officials including the family members of the returnee sailors were at the Istabul International airport to welcome them back to the country. The arrival of the MV Mozat Crew members in Turkey, on Sunday, February 14, 2021, may have given them an opportunity to speak out about the Negotiation for their release and experience in the hands of the Pirates after 21 days in their Custody.
Signs that the Turkish Crew members would be released soon emerged some two weeks ago when Bashir Jamo , the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Director General, had informed Ulueren, the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria to be prepared to receive the sailors anytime soon in order to arrangement to fly them back to Turkey. This may have informed why the officials of Boden shipping Company hastened up the Negotiations with the Pirates for the ransom demanded to be settled.
It is not surprising why, Mustafa Kaya, Captain, MV.Mozart, had said that the trio of Edogan, Cavusoglu and Uleren,’’ made all kinds of sacrifices to facilitate their release’’ , stating that ’’the Company was with them as they were extremely careful in the Negotiations’’ to avoid playing into the hands of the Pirates who were looking for the slightest excuse to boggle the talks and still keep them longer in their Custody in order to increase their demand.
The Company Representatives during the Negotiating and who are based in Hamburg and London, may have known this that they were said to have threaded softly in order to get the abductors agreed to release the 15 sailors .
Given an insider information to what happened during the Negotiation for the ransom to be paid to the Pirates in order to secure their freedom, Kaya, reportedly said that they exerted ‘’psychological pressure on them’’, warning that ’’if Boden shipping Company, which had engaged them failed to do what they want, that they would be killed. This may have informed why the sailors had cried out to the Germany and UK, Negotiators to agree to the demand of their Captors in order to get them out of their custody.
The officials of the Istabul based shipping Company were said to have persuaded the Pirates to release the sailors through the Negotiations conducted by the Representatives of the Company, Borealis, in Germany and UK .
The fallout was the release of the 15 Turkish seamen who were said to have been carried by boat from an unknown location in Gabon, and dropped in a place specified by the Company. The release of the sailors had come two weeks after the Pirates had made contact with the Boden Denzcilik, officials ‘’to discuss tissue of ransom’’.
Prior to the release of the Turkish seam by the abductors, Levent Karsan, an official of the Turkish Company had told those that cares to listen that the attack on MV Mozart, and the kidnap of the 15 sailors on board the Container ship on January 23, 2021, was not’’politically motivated but aimed at getting ransoms’’.
Recounting their experience for the 21 days in the Custody of the Pirates, the MV.Mozart, the ship Captain, who may have spoken the mind of the other seamen, released alongside with him that ‘’they were in a forest in rough conditions for the three weeks they were in the Pirates custody’’. He had said that though, the Pirates did not expo them ‘’to physical violence and treatment but ‘’they were sharing environment with reptiles and dangerous animals’’, noting that there was nothing worse that. He further stated that they were always under the custody of armed men’’ which inflicted pain on them.