Four Indonesian sailors held captive in Philippines to return home

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The four Indonesian ship crew members, who were held hostage by an armed group of the Philippines, are expected to arrive in Indonesia this evening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Thursday.

This afternoon, the four ship crew members have been handed over by the Government of the Philippines to the Indonesian authorities aboard the latters Navy ship in the maritime border of the two countries, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Arrmanatha Nasir stated here on Thursday.

"The four ship crew members are expected to arrive in Jakarta this evening or maybe tomorrow," Nasir revealed.

Tugboat Henry and a barge, manned by 10 crew members, were intercepted by an armed group from the Philippines in the waters of Zamboanga in Malaysias maritime territory on April 15.

One crew member suffered from a gunshot wound, while five others were saved by the Malaysian patrol guard. The six were sent home safely.

The four other crew members were kidnapped by the armed group and taken to Sulu, the Philippines.

The four crew members expected to return today are Moch Aryani, the master from East Bekasi, West Java; Loren Marinus Petrus Rumawi, the chief officer from Sorong, West Papua; Dede Irfan Hilmi, the second officer from Ciamis, West Java; and Samsir from Palopo, South Sulawesi.

The ministry confirmed that the government had not paid ransom to secure the release of the four Indonesians.

The president and foreign minister had stated that the release was possible due to the efforts of Indonesia and the Philippines as well as the involvement of some non-governmental institutions, Nasir added.(*)