Legal team flown out to India in bid to free Scots pirate-buster Billy Irving
BILLY Irving, 33, is currently detained in Puzhal prison in Chennai along with other colleagues after being arrested on suspicion of having weapons on their ship.
A TOP legal team have been hired to free a Scots pirate-buster held in an Indian jail.
We highlighted former paratrooper Billy Irving’s plight on Wednesday, telling how he faces Christmas behind bars after being arrested for trying to protect vessels in the Indian Ocean.
Now his bosses at a US maritime security firm have flown out their best lawyers to try to get Billy and his crewmates out of jail.
They have also given Billy food, sweets and books to help him through his prison ordeal. A representative for US maritime security firm AdvanFort has also flown to the UK to meet Yvonne MacHugh, partner of Billy, 33, who is in Puzhal prison in Chennai.
He and 34 colleagues, including five other Brits, were arrested on suspicion of having unauthorised weapons on their ship last month.
Billy, from Connel, near Oban, had been scouring the Indian Ocean for pirate gangs on the MV Seaman Guard Ohio and was sailing towards Egypt to fly home when the ship was turned back by Indian coastguard. The crew was held for two weeks before workers were jailed three weeks ago.
Yvonne, 25, and brother Jamie Irving, 38, had both spoken out in the Record about lack of communication from Billy’s AdvanFort bosses.
But Yvonne yesterday met a company representative in Newcastle, who told her they were building a tougher legal case to get the men home.
Jamie last night said it was “encouraging” to finally have news about his brother.
He said: “Our petition to get the men freed has now gathered more than 20,000 signatures. It is reassuring to have that support.”