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Jakarta Post

Sailors’ employer pays ransom to release Indonesian hostages

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 11, 2016   /  07:30 pm
Sailors’ employer pays ransom to release Indonesian hostages From left to right, Indonesian Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, his Malaysian counterpart Gen. Zulkifeli Mohd. Zin, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, her Filipino counterpart Foreign Minister Jose Rene Almendras, and the Philippine's Navy Chief Rear Adm. Caesar C. Taccad, confer as they prepare for a group photo before the start of their trilateral meeting on maritime security issues at the presidential palace in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, May 5, 2016. The gathering was held following the kidnappings of Indonesian and Malaysian crewmen by Abu Sayyaf militants in the waters off southern Philippines where Indonesia share borders with the two countries. (AP/Rana Dyandra)

The release of four Indonesian sailors by the Abu Sayyaf militant group involved intensive efforts by the government and allegedly involved the paying of a ransom.

On the heels of the sudden release, an anonymous source told thejakartapost.com that the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), the Indonesian Military (TNI), the Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Ministry and the Foreign Ministry coordinated with the sailors' employer.

“The sailors’ employer paid the ransom,” the source said.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced earlier that the four remaining Indonesians held captive by the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Philippines had been released safely.

The Indonesian sailors, kidnapped by the militant group in April, are now in the hands of the Philippine authorities and will be handed over to the Indonesian government soon, Jokowi said at the State Palace as reported by kompas.com.

He gave no further details regarding the release.

The four sailors had been employed as crew aboard the Henry, a tugboat, and the Christie, a barge, sailing in Malaysian and Philippine waters in mid-April when they were taken hostage by the Abu Sayyaf group.

Earlier this month, Abu Sayyaf militants freed 10 Indonesian crewmen who were seized at sea in March and believed to have been taken to a jungle camp in Sulu, a predominantly Muslim province about 950 kilometers south of the Philippine capital, Manila.

At least eight foreign and local hostages remain in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf, including another Canadian and a Norwegian who were kidnapped last September, and a Dutch bird watcher who was kidnapped more than three years ago. (rin/dan)

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