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19 Filipino seafarers held in Mexico allegedly for drugs – DFA

19 Filipino seafarers held in Mexico allegedly for drugs – DFA
Christia Marie Ramos July 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Nineteen Filipino seafarers are presently being held in Mexico allegedly over illegal drugs, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

DFA said in a statement that crewmen of Cypriot-flagged vessel UBC Savannah were detained in Mexico on July 27 for allegedly violating the illegal drug law of that country.

A total of 22 seafarers – 19 Filipinos and three Polish nationals – are aboard UBC Savannah, according to DFA.

DFA said it is “actively monitoring” developments concerning the detention of the 19 Filipino seafarers through the Philippine Embassy in Mexico.

“Embassy representatives were able to speak with seven of the Filipino seafarers currently detained for questioning,” DFA said. “The group is generally in good spirits, and informed the Embassy representatives that their families have been informed of what happened.”

DFA assured that the Philippine Embassy in Mexico is closely coordinating with both Mexican authorities and the law firm representing the ship’s crew.

“At this point, no formal charges have been filed against any seafarer. The DFA stands ready to provide any form of assistance, including legal assistance if still necessary, to protect the Filipino seafarers’ right to be heard in court,” it noted.

“However, should they be found to be guilty by the proper court of the charges against them, they have to face the legal consequences of their actions,” it added.

DFA then reminded the Filipinos working abroad follow the laws in their countries of destination. /kga