Four Indonesian sailors held captive in Philippines arrive in Jakarta

Four Indonesian sailors held captive in Philippines arrive in Jakarta

Four crew of TB Hendri vessel who had been held hostage armed groups in the Philippines down the plane upon arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma airfield, Jakarta, Friday. (ANTARA/M. Agung Rajasa)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Four Indonesian ship crew members, who were released by an armed group of the Philippines, have arrived in Jakarta on Friday at around 11 a.m. local time.

The four were flown aboard an Indonesian Air Force AI7301 aircraft from Tarakan, North Kalimantan Province, to the Halim Perdanakusuma Airbase in Jakarta.

The released crew members are now at the Gatot Soebroto Army Central Hospital (RSPAD) to undergo a medical examination.

"After the medical examination at the RSPAD, the four will be handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be reunited with their families in a ceremony this evening," Director of Indonesian Citizens Protection and Legal Entities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Muhammad Iqbal stated here on Friday.

The four Indonesian ship crew members were released and handed over to the Indonesian government on Thursday (May 12).

The freed sailors, along with six other crew members, were aboard tugboat Henry and a barge, which 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 who have returned 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, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Arrmanatha Nasir remarked.

(Reporting by Yashita Difa/Uu.A059/INE/KR-BSR/O001)