Ten Indonesian crewmembers who were kidnapped on March 26 in the Philippine waters have been released from captivity, according to the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The crew were taken following the hijacking of tug Brahma 12 and the barge Anand 12 during their voyage from Sungai Puting, South Kalimatan to Batangas, South Philippines.
The tug was released by the end of March, while the crew, believed to have been taken by the Islamic extremist group Abu Sayyaf, remained in captivity, with their whereabouts unknown.
The owner of the tug Brahma 12 reportedly agreed to pay a ransom in the amount of IDR 14.3 billion (USD 1 million) for the ten kidnapped crewmembers.
According to Indonesia’s newspaper Jakarta Globe, PT Patria Maritime Lines’ agreed to the terms of the crew’s release previously set by the pirates, despite the Indonesian government’s attempts to facilitate the hostages’ release and prepare for a strike on the kidnappers.
The Indonesian government added that it is still working on securing the liberation of four other crewmembers who were kidnapped from an Indonesian flagged tug and barge on April 15 while they were en route from Cebu, the Philippines to Tarakan, Indonesia.
World Maritime News Staff