Three Indonesian crew members abducted in Congo waters released

Three Indonesian crew members abducted in Congo waters released

Director of Indonesian Citizen Protection of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Lalu Muhammad Iqbal during a door-stop interview after the annual press statement of the Foreign Affairs Minister here on Wednesday, Jan 9, 2019. (ANTARA/Yashinta Difa)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Three Indonesian members of a ship crew, abducted in the waters of Congo on October 29, 2018, were released and reunited with their families in Indonesia.

The three Indonesians were released in an unidentified region in Nigeria, north of the Congo waters on Jan 2, and arrived in Jakarta on Jan 4.

"They have been reunited with their families," Director of Indonesian Citizen Protection of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Lalu Muhammad Iqbal noted after the annual press statement of the Foreign Affairs Minister here on Wednesday, Jan 9.

In addition to the Indonesian crew members, a Ukrainian was also released.

The Singapore-flagged supply ship Ark Tze, with 15 crew members onboard, comprising 12 Indonesians, two Myanmari citizens, and one Ukrainian, was hijacked while passing through the Congo waters in October 2018.

The pirates abducted one Ukrainian and three Indonesian crew members and moved them to a Panama-flagged tanker ship Anuket Amber that they had hijacked earlier on in the day, while the other Indonesian crew members were freed.

It was the second incident of abduction of Indonesian crew in 2018 after the one in September wherein two Indonesian crew members were taken hostages in the Semporna waters of Sabah, Malaysia.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi noted in her statement that in the past four years, 40 Indonesian hostages were released.

The ministry has recorded the settlement of 73,503 cases involving Indonesians abroad; 278 Indonesians were released from death penalty; 181,942 troubled migrant workers were repatriated, and 16,432 Indonesians were evacuated from conflict-hit regions during the 2014-2018 period.

Reporting by Yashinta Difa Pramudyani
Editing by Suharto

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