Jakarta (ANTARA News) - An Indonesian seaman, along with three other seamen from Malaysia, Thailand and Iran have been held hostage by armed Nigerian pirates since Saturday.

The president of the Indonesian Seamen Association (KPI), Hanafi Rustandi, in a press statement received here on Thursday, said they were taken hostage from "BG Jascon 33" barge early on Saturday local time while the boat flying St. Vincent flag was around 35 miles from the Nigerian coast.

The boat belonging to a Dutch company was carrying crew who would work in an offshore oil drilling when suddenly an armed group attacked and hijacked the ship.

Nigerian navy soldier escorting the boat tried to fight them but two of them finally died after being shot by the pirates. The fate of the four seamen remains unaccountable until now.

He said the foreign ministry has ordered the Indonesian embassy in Nigeria to monitor the incident. "While coordinating with the foreign ministry we have also made an inquiry at the Nigerian embassy in Jakarta concerning efforts that have been taken and latest developments but no answer has been given," Hanafi said.

It is believed the hostage takers are seeking a ransom. In view of that, he urged the Indonesian government to immediately coordinate with the Nigerian government, the Dutch company as the owner of the ship and St. Vincent with regard to the case.

"The Indonesian government cannot work by itself to free the hostage," he said.

Hanafi said the Indonesian seaman named Glenny Ferdinand Rugegbregt from Maluku had worked just for several months on the ship.

He predicted Glenny left without following procedures. PT AAPL Indonesia Crew as the agency has said it never felt having sent Glen but later it was found that Glen had left upon his own initiative.

Hanafi doubted Glen has a PKL (work agreement) document to protect him legalized by the authorities concerned.

Even if he has Hanafi believes it has been made unilaterally by a company and so has the potential to cause a loss for the seaman.

If the suspicion is true Hanafi urged the National Agency for Migrant Workers Placement and Protection (BNP2TKI) to also be responsible as it has allowed Glen to go abroad with an Overseas Worker Card (KTKLN) but without seaman documents as required.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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