Fear grow for Daventry man captured by pirates

FEARS are growing for a Daventry man who was captured in East Africa while guarding merchant ships from pirates.

The former Royal Marine, who is yet to be named for fear of jeopardising his safety, has not been heard of since Christmas.

Government officials say they are now deeply concerned about the well-being of the man who was one of four ex-marines from the UK captured in Eritrea in December.

The men were protecting merchant ships from pirates, who plunder boats off the Horn of Africa in the Indian Ocean.

It is understood they were moored in a port and told they had to pay a levy to leave. It is reported they were then detained following a gun battle.

The Government said detaining the men without charge was a gross breach of the Vienna Convention, adding officials have been trying to contact the men’s captors since Christmas Eve.

The Foreign Office has also summoned the UK ambassador for Eritrea on two separate occasions to demand their release but the embassy has seemingly ignored every request.

Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris raised the issue in Parliament last week and said: “The minister well knows that I have a constituent who is detained without charge and is denied consular access at this point in time in Eritrea. His wife is very concerned about his whereabouts.

Nobody has seen him as far as I am aware for nearly two-and-a-half months.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are deeply concerned at the failure of the Eritrean authorities to allow us to speak to or visit the men. Our officials continue to demand access.”