57 Filipino Seamen Now Held
Ten Filipino sailors were among the 23 seafarers of mixed nationalities who were abducted by Somali pirates earlier this week. On March 26, the MV Eglantine, a Cypriot-flagged and Iranian-owned vessel, was hijacked by pirates off the coast of India.
Somali pirates abduct 10 Pinoy sailors
MANILA (Xinhua) — Ten Filipino sailors were among the 23 seafarers of mixed nationalities who were abducted by ransom-seeking Somali pirates off the coast of India this week, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said the Filipinos’ ship the MV Eglantine, a Cypriot-flagged and Iranian-owned vessel, was hijacked by pirates on March 26.
The vessel’s principal, KISH Shipping, is based in Tehran and has already coordinated with the Filipinos’ local manning agency in Manila, Hernandez said, adding the victims’ family members were already informed about the incident.
The latest kidnapping incident brings to at least 57 the number of Filipino seamen being held by armed brigands off the coast of Somalia, where they keep other foreign seafarers on board several vessels they hijacked.
As a policy, the Philippine government does not negotiate nor pay ransom to kidnappers, but gives ship owners the free hand in negotiating for the release of abducted Filipino sailors.