The same struggle was undergone by their families back in Kanniyakumari as they were cheated by a Iran-based lawyer and a local middleman who swindled money in the name of getting the fishermen out of the prison.
“Our families gave Rs 8.1 lakh to Iranian lawyer named Rahmani through a middleman identified as Johnson to get us out of the prison. But, the lawyer did not work to secure our release. Only the Indian Embassy officials made all efforts to get us out. In fact, the lawyer had no idea of our release date and when we contacted him after our release he asked how did we get out of the prison before completing the term,” J Godwin John Weldon, one of the released fishermen told DT Next.
The nine fishermen from Kanniyakumari went to work in a private fishing company in Kuwait on October 10, 2019, and when they were fishing on January 17, 2020, they were arrested by the Iranian Navy on trespass charges and sent to prison. When families of the fishermen contacted the Indian Embassy they were guided to an Iranian lawyer Karamat Panahi and his associate Mohammed Rahmani.
When the families were struggling to contact the lawyer, Johnson in the pretext of helping them, had demanded money to reach the lawyer. “We gave Rs 8.1 lakh in two instalments to Johnson. The families raised the money by pledging and selling gold jewels and house documents.,” said Nisha, wife of Godwin. Now they are left without resources.