"I welcome the return of Hennadiy Havrylov, the captain of the Avant Garde vessel who was kept in Sri Lanka since 2016 under unreasoned charges. The diplomats were nearby, fighting for his release. In late May, the court acquitted him. He is in Odesa now", reads the message.
Hennadiy Havrylov was the captain of Avant Garde, which belonged to a company in Sri Lanka. It was involved as security guarantee in the maritime traffic and as a countermeasure against possible pirate raids. Due to its specific tasks, the vessel carried firearms and ammunition.
In October 2015, Avant Garde was at anchor beyond the territorial waters of Sri Lanka, as ordered by the operator company. Captain Havrylov expected the permission to enter the docks, when Avant Garde was arrested by the Sri Lankan authorities and returned to its territorial waters. The vessel was held at bay, and Hennadiy Havrylov remained on board. In June 2016, Havrylov was arrested for the alleged illegal weapons import and could not leave the territory of that country since then.