A former Northumberland soldier employed to hunt pirates across the globe has been arrested by Indian authorities.
Nick Dunn, 27, from Ashington, Northumberland, was working for maritime security company AdvanFort when he and his colleagues were detained in Chennai five weeks ago.
The six men, all former British Army soldiers, had been waiting on the MV Seaman Guard Ohio, an American-owned support ship, preparing for their next mission.
The men were accused of illegally possessing weapons on their support vessel while operating in Indian waters – and have languished in jail ever since.
Last night Nick’s sister Lisa Dunn, 34, said the family haven’t spoken to him in weeks and that they fear for his well-being.
On October 17 Nick called Lisa informing her that authorities were undertaking routine checks on their documentation.
Lisa said: “Nick phoned me the day before they were all arrested. He telephoned our mum and then me saying, ‘It’s absolutely nothing to worry about, this kind of thing sometimes happens as the authorities just like to check the documentation is in order. It’ll get sorted out tomorrow.’”
Nick, who served with the Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland, phoned back several times keeping his family informed, before making his last call in the early hours the following morning.
Lisa said his mum, Margaret Dunn, 59, is extremely worried.
She said: “She’s taking it really hard. He’s her youngest son, her youngest child. But the support is what’s getting us through it.
“We’ve been in touch with the Foreign Office who have been to see the guys, and we’ve had two letters back from Nick through them.”
Lisa said Nick was doing a job he loved and she believed British authorities should be doing more to help.
She said: “Nick and the other men fought for their country, and yet it seems their own Government won’t fight for them. It seems like they’ve just been left there.”
Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery has been in touch with the Foreign Office on their behalf.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We can confirm the detention of six British nationals from the ship, MV Seaman Guard Ohio, on October 18 in India. We are providing consular assistance and are in touch with the local authorities.”
An online petition has been set up, asking for help from Foreign Secretary William Hague.
To see the online petition, go to www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/william-hague-help-free-the-6-british-ex-soldiers-from-indian-prison