Efforts on to get mortal remains of Goan who died in pirates’ captivity

Brito D’Silva was part of the 20-member crew of MV Duke who were abducted on December 15 by pirates. Photo: Twitter

Goa NRI Commissioner Narendra Sawaikar on Monday (January 20) said the state government was making all efforts to get the body of a sailor who died in captivity after being abducted by pirates off the Nigerian coast in December.

Brito D’Silva was part of the 20-member crew of MV Duke who were abducted on December 15 by pirates. The Indian High Commission in Abuja in Nigeria said in a tweet on Sunday that 19 of those abducted had been released on Saturday, while one had died in captivity under adverse conditions.

“Efforts are on to get the body of the seafarer. We are trying through diplomatic channels to get the remains of the seaman,” Sawaikar told PTI on Monday.

Meanwhile, Goa Seamen’s Association of India president Dixon Vaz said D’Silva’s kin continued to remain in the dark about when the remains would reach here. D’Silva died on December 23 while his family members were told about the death later. There is apprehension that the pirates may have been buried the body in the Nigerian forests, Vaz Vaz said.

He said the shipping agent who recruited D’Silva was not answering queries, adding that the seaman’s death may be the first ever of a Goan in pirate captivity. As per government statistics, between thirty to forty thousand Goans worked on tankers and merchant vessels, with Salcette taluka in South Goa provided the highest number.

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