Second abducted crew member rescued in the Philippines

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) confirmed on Monday that a Vietnamese crewman of the Royal 16 cargo ship attacked and captured by pirates in southern Philippines in November 2016 has been rescued by the Philippine government.  

A representative of MoFA’s Consular Department said they have received information about Đỗ Trung Hiếu from a Philippine agency. The department immediately contacted Philippine authorities to verify the information and directed the Vietnamese Embassy in Manila to prepare the necessary measures to receive the Vietnamese citizen and bring him back to the homeland.

Hiếu was among six crew members aboard Royal 16, a Vietnamese cargo ship that was hijacked by pirates while sailing in the seas off Basilan Island, the Philippines, an area where the Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants have been on a kidnapping-for-ransom spree.

Pirates killed three crewmembers on July, 2017: Trần Việt Văn, Hoàng Trung Thông and Hoàng Văn Hải.

Only one of the six was rescued and brought back to Việt Nam earlier, so Hiếu will be the second. A third Vietnamese crew member is still held captive by the jihadist group.

The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry has summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Philippines embassy in Hà Nội, and asked the country to offer urgent assistance in the case and to ensure safety of the remaining kidnapped Vietnamese citizens, source from Vietnamnews.

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