Kolkata: After being in captivity of pirates for more than a week, the captain of the oil tanker that was hijacked on July 15 near Gabon off the West African coast said it was a traumatic experience, but no ransom was paid.
"It was a traumatic experience. I will never ever sail to that region without armed guards on the ship," said 64-year- old Shishir Wahi, who returned to his Kolkata residence yesterday after being released by the pirates on July 22.
"These pirates are not like Somalians who take the crew hostage and demand a huge ransom. They loot the cargo and the belongings and valuables of the crew," Wahi, who commanded the hijacked Turkish oil tanker MV Cotton, told a press conference here.
He said the hijackers looted the cargo and transferred it to their ship which was an old one. They also took away money, phones, laptops, gadgets, branded clothes, shoes and cigarettes from the crew members.
Narrating the sequence of events, he said on the midnight of July 15, when the ship was anchored near Gabbon, a group of pirates armed with AK-47 rifles boarded it and forced him to take the vessel to international waters.
"It was around midnight that I heard loud knocking on my door. As soon I opened the door the pirates entered my cabin and started shouting that the ship had been hijacked."
He said he was tied up and was taken out of the cabin to find his crew members kneeling on the deck with hands in the air.