Dubai: Fourteen Indian soldiers, who were stranded on board an oil tanker off the coast of Bahrain since December last year have finally left for home, media reports said on Tuesday.
They were among the 16-member crew of Mongolian vessel MT Surya Kuber, which was banned from leaving the country because its Singapore-based owner 7Seas Ship Management allegedly owed Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY) and Kanoo Shipping more than $220,000, Gulf Daily News reported.
After ASRY took legal action against the Singaporean firm, a Bahraini court ordered the vessel`s seizure in February this year
The 14 Indian sailors and two others from Myanmar were also allegedly not paid their salaries totalling $118,000 since October last year.
The Indians left for home on Monday night on tickets paid for by the Indian embassy in Bahrain.
"The sailors are leaving the country without receiving their salaries, but their lawyer has the power of attorney so that he can follow up the case in the court,` said Reverend Stephen Thanapaul, chaplain for the Mission to Seafarers in Bahrain, was quoted as saying.
"The Indian Embassy paid for the air tickets for the 14 sailors (from India)."
Ram Singh, first secretary in the Indian embassy, said it also raised money for plane tickets for the two Myanmar citizens through donations from the community.
"We wanted the ordeal for the crew to end and took all measures to ensure they leave the country," Singh said.
`They have not received their pending salaries for months and the embassy will follow up their case."