ECOTERRA today reported the Romanian Foreign Ministry confirmed the existence of a Romanian sailor among the crew of the released Greek cargo vessel MV FILITSA, previously held hostage by Somali Pirates.
The Romanian sailor is reported to be safe, and he, with three Greek officers, and 18 Filipino seamen is headed for Mombasa, Kenya.
Only ECOTERRA reported the presence of the Romanian crewman on board, during the time MV Filitsa was held. ECOTERRA says neither the Greek shipping line, Order Shipping Co. Ltd., nor the Romanian government would confirm the presence of the man, apparently the Chief Electrician.
A complete crew list was never provided by the shipping line.
ECOTERRA says that contrary to the statement by the Romanian Foreign Minister, his family was left in the dark, and Romanian officials are now saying secrecy was needed “for the safety of the hostage.” ECOTERRA says this is typical spin from a government that doesn’t know what to do in such a situation.
Greece, one of the most important nations for shipping and seafarers, also lacks transparency and is more and more ignorant of the real issues concerning their vessels in distress. The situation is so bad, that the European Union recently disqualified the Greek shipping register.
Sea-jacked Greek vessels are usually held for extended periods, because their owners do not come to terms with the pirates.
Greek fishing vessels are infamous for illegally plundering Somali marine resources, like the recently captured Greco I and II, who disguise their true origin and beneficial owner behind onion-routed layers of owner-manager-operator constructs and regularly switch to flags-of-convenience while on fish-poaching missions.
Even EU NAVFOR still reports only about a crew of 22 (19 “Philippino” – i.e. Filipino and 3 Greek), which had been held at the pirate stronghold of Hobyo, on the Somali coast, which is clearly wrong.
“If in some of the piracy cases a journalist, a seamen’s mission or other civil society organization sometimes do not have all the information it can be understood, but if organizations with a multimillion Euro operation inform the media and the families wrongly, it is unforgivable and there is certainly something wrong in the system,” an ECOTERRA spokesperson said.
ECOTERRA International is the Global Society for ECOlogy and sound ECOnomy, an independent, international civil society organisation, registered as a non-governmental organisation (NGO), working as humanitarian agency and in development.