PIRATES FREE FILIPINO HOSTAGES
Wednesday December 10th, 2008
Somali pirates have freed 17 Filipino seamen kidnapped in the Gulf of Aden on September 21st this year when their Greek cargo ship, MV Captain Stephanos, was hijacked in dangerous waters. According to Foreign Undersecretary, Estaban Conejos the seamen, who were released on Monday night, are ‘safe and in good health.’ Philippine government policy states that they will not negotiate directly with kidnappers, however Mr Conejos did not comment on whether a ransom had been paid in this instance.
With over 350,000 Filipino sailors spread across the world, the Philippines supplies one third of all sailors, mainly on major oil tankers, passenger vessels and luxury liners, all of which are prime targets for piracy. At the time of writing, 91 Filipino seamen remain in sea bandit’s captivity. The freed sailors are currently on their way to Greece, where they will be met by ship owners and taken home.
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