MANILA — Four Filipino seafarers were apprehended in Australia for allegedly importing cocaine, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.
In a statement, the DFA said that it is now “closely monitoring” the situation of the four crewmen of the Cyprus-flagged Safe Bulkers vessel Kypros Bravery.
Australian media reports said that federal police seized about 416 kilograms of cocaine from the commercial bulk-carrier ship just off the southern city of Adelaide.
The DFA said that representatives of the Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne spoke with the 4 seafarers who were already charged after the bust.
“All four are in good health and are being treated well by Australian authorities,” the DFA said.
The Consulate General is closely coordinating with Australian authorities on the case, said the DFA, adding that the seafarers have since been provided with individual public lawyers.
They appeared before the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on April 1.
“The DFA stands ready to provide necessary assistance, including legal assistance, if still necessary, to protect the Filipino seafarers’ rights and ensure that they are given due process and a fair trial,” it said.
The agency reminded Filipinos abroad to “uphold the rule of law” wherever they may be.
FROM THE ARCHIVES