Ukrainian sailors, kept in Libya for over four years, were returned home as Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar reported.
“Ukraine returns its citizens! I welcome our guys in the motherland. Sailors E.Morar, V. Tostohan, O. Voinerovsky, P.Chaika have already met their relatives not seen for five years. Early release from the Libyan prison is the result of the joint efforts of the Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry and help of Turkish partners,” the message said.
Four Ukrainian citizens - members of the crew of the tanker Captain Khayyam were detained in the territorial waters of Libya on February 13, 2016. In December 2017, a Libyan court sentenced four Ukrainians and other crew members of the tanker Captain Khayyam to five years in prison. As two Ukrainian sailors have health problems, representatives of Ukraine have repeatedly raised the issue of their release for humanitarian reasons in negotiations with the Libyan party.
As we reported, the Stevia cargo ship was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria. The pirates have kidnapped 8 crew members. According to the Seafarers Journal, among the eight hostages, six are Ukrainians (captain, chief mate, 2nd mate, chief mech, electrician and wiper). The daughter of one of the captured sailors said that her father works on the STEVIA vessel as the chief mate. The side of the ship owner and agent does not provide any information. She received confirmation that her dad was captured, from one of the sailors on board.