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Iran frees Pinoy seafarer—DMW

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One of the four Filipino seafarers who were among the 25 crewmen held by the Iranian navy at the Strait of Hormuz was released, the departments of Migrant Workers and Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

“The Philippines welcomes the good news that one of the four Filipino seamen at the MSC Aries has been released and is arriving home later today (Friday),” DFA said in a statement.

“We appreciate Iran’s gesture and the intercession of India in this matter,” it added.

DMW Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac expressed optimism they would be able to secure the release of three other Filipino seamen who remain under the custody of Iranian authorities.

Cacdac said the DMW is coordinating with the ship agent and licensed manning agency.

The seafarer’s return came after he and six other crew members, including an Estonian and five Indian nationals, of MSC Aries were freed on May 9.

Their ship was seized by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard on April 13.

MSC Aries is owned by Gortal Shipping, Inc., which is affiliated with Zodiac Maritime Shipping Company. IRNA News identified Zodiac as partly owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer.

The seizure of the vessel occurred amid heightened tensions between Iran and Israel over the latter’s attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria on April 1, which killed several Iranian military advisors, including two IRGC senior commanders.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated article. Originally posted with the headline Iran frees Filipino seafarer held at Strait of Hormuz—DMW


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