The family and colleagues of a Calcutta-based Bengali marine engineer , reported missing on the high seas from a crude oil tanker vessel on its way South Korea from Venezuela, says they suspect a ‘cover-up’ .
Sambit Majumder, a middle-aged mariner with experience of over two decades, is a second engineer of a Liberian-flag vessel ‘MT Serengeti’ and left home in early February.
His family living in the southern part of the city was informed of his going missing on the high seas on Thursday by the shipping liner.
A colleague who knows Majumder said he was ‘healthy and happy man because his son had done well in exams’.
The colleague, who did not wish to be named, said the company briefing is hinting at possible suicide.
“That is plain rubbish but it may be useful to pass this as suicide to avoid compensation,” the mariner told Easternlink.
He said if this was not suicide and also not death by disease because Majumder did not seem to have any, a thorough investigation by Indian government agencies or government private detectives was needed to ascertain the real caise of death.
According to the briefing by the shipping company, everything was well till Tuesday evening and Majumder had dinner with other members of the crew around 8 pm before retiring to his cabin, the family sources said.
But he did not turn up for breakfast on the next morning and crew members could not trace him in his cabin.
“Till now, there is no positive news. We have informed all the government agencies including local police station as per protocol for a thorough investigation into the matter,” a member of Majumder’s family said.
“The probe into the incident will be taken up by appropriate authorities. We suspect there is a crime behind his disappearance,” the family member said.
His family has lodged a complaint with Netaji Nagar Police Station here.
Majumder’s wife Jayati expressed her disappointment over the way in which the shipping firm officials reacted to the incident.
“We have no clue how Sambit went missing and it is a mystery to us,” the mariner’s family members said.
According to the shipping liner, Dynacom Tankers Management (DTM), appropriate measures have been taken to trace the missing mariner, and Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres in Hong Kong and the Philippines had been given alerts about the incident.
The ship is reaching South Korea on Tuesday after a 35 day voyage from Venezuela , where it was loaded with crude oil.