Greek tanker with 16 Pinoys hijacked


Posted at Dec 01 2009 03:05 PM | Updated as of Dec 02 2009 08:19 PM

MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Tuesday that a Greek vessel with 16 Filipino seafarers onboard was seized by Somali pirates over the weekend.

The Greek-flagged MT Maran Centaurus and its 28-man crew were hijacked last November 29, about 750 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. The vessel’s crew consists of 16 Filipinos, nine Greeks, two Ukrainians, and one Romanian.
The vessel’s local manning agency told the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) that the families of the Filipino seafarers were already informed of the incident.

The DFA has instructed the Philippine Embassy in Athens to closely coordinate with Maran Tankers Management, Inc., the vessel’s principal based in Greece, for the safe and immediate release of the Filipino seafarers. 
The DFA has also instructed the Philippine Embassy in Manama, Bahrain, to make parallel representations with the combined naval authorities patrolling the region.
The Philippines has travel and labor deployment bans to Somalia.
There are now six vessels with 70 Filipino seafarers in captivity off Somalia.