MANILA The Philippine Embassy in Tehran is ready to provide assistance to the 12 Filipinos held in Iran after their vessel was seized in the Persian Gulf on Saturday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) assured Sunday.
"The Embassy is seeking further updates on the seafarers' condition, and stands ready to provide assistance when needed," it said in a statement.
Citing initial information from the Embassy, the DFA said the tugboat being manned by Filipino crewmen in the Persian Gulf was seized due to alleged oil smuggling on September 7.
Philippine Ambassador to Iran Wilfredo Santos reported that the Coast Guard authorities are currently conducting an investigation on the allegation against the crewmembers.
"Once this has been established, the matter will be referred to the local court," he said.
Last July, a United Kingdom-flagged tanker, where Filipino crewmembers were also onboard, was seized by Iranian authorities while transiting the Strait of Hormuz for reported violation of international maritime laws and regulations."
Reporters asked the DFA for updates, but the agency has not given details yet. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency