Switzerland Authorities have begun planning legal action against the Nigerian government for seizing and detaining a Swiss-flagged oil tanker in January last year.
Reports by various online maritime websites said San Padre Pio and four of its original 16 crewmembers, all of whom are Ukrainian nationals, had since remained under Nigerian government custody in the Bay of Biafra for alleged diesel smuggling and illegal entry into Nigerian territorial waters.
The Swiss Foreign Minister, in a statement, disclosed that the 12 other crew members were released after a month and a half following their seizure but Nigerian authorities.
The ministry however said that the four crew members have remained in the country had been reportedly enduring “difficult” living conditions.
The decision to file the case with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea came after diplomatic efforts by the Swiss government failed to ensure the release of the vessel and its remaining crew.