TALLINN - Estonian anti-piracy guards, who were first detained last October in India, will not be able to leave India before August, although the Indian court withdrew all charges against them already on July 10, reports Public Broadcasting.
The individuals are currently waiting to get their passports, personal belongings and bail money back.
“The men’s attorney has submitted applications to Magistrate Court so that they could get back their passports and other personal belongings and bail money [already] paid. The judge said he will make a decision on the application on July 30,” said Estonian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Minna-Liina Lind.
After they receive their passports, they must submit a request for permission to leave the country. The Foreign Ministry does not know how long it will take to issue the permit.
“The Estonian Embassy in India is still in close contact with both the crew members and the lawyer, the Indian authorities and their counterparts in the UK and Ukraine. Our consul, Margus Sarglepp, is also in Tamil Nadu to offer support to make sure the bureaucracy is smooth,” said a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.
Since mid-July, the individuals’ attorney has also had to deal with the problem of payment for the hotel services, as the shipping company AdvanFort still has not paid for this, and now the hotel is threatening to throw them out.
The Indian coast guard detained on Oct. 12 last year the anti-piracy ship Seaman Guard Ohio, sailing under the Sierra Leone flag, on board of which there were 35 people. On Oct. 18, 33 people, including 14 Estonian anti-piracy armed guards, were imprisoned for a preliminary investigation for illegally entering Indian waters as well as for several other violations.
The men were released on bail on April 5 but, according to the conditions of the bail, had to stay in Chennai.