Seized Pinoys treated well—Libya govt
Libyan authorities have assured the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli that the 20 Filipino seafarers who were taken into custody on Sunday are in good condition and are being treated well.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Embassy Chargè d’Affaires Mardomel Melicor met with officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday to request consular access to the Filipinos who were detained after their oil tanker was seized by the Libyan Coast Guard for allegedly trying to smuggle fuel.
“Chargè d’Affaires Melicor was given the assurance by our Libyan friends that our seafarers are in good condition and are being treated well,” Cayetano said.
According to the Secretary, the detained seafarers would be made available to embassy officials once the custodial investigation being conducted by the Libyan Attorney General’s Office is completed.
Cayetano said Libyan authorities also promised to provide as soon as possible the names of the detained seafarers whose photographs were published in Libyan newspapers.
The Filipinos were taken into custody after a Libyan Coast Guard patrol seized the Liberian-flagged tanker Levant off Zawia, west of Tripoli on Sunday, for allegedly trying to smuggle more than 6 million liters of gasoline.
The vessel, which was being operated by Evalend Shipping Tankers Co., S.A. based in Athens, was towed by the Libyan Coast Guard to Tripoli.