OBP welcomes the news of the release of the remaining four Thai crew members of the FV Prantalay 12 on 25 February 2015, 1,774 days after being taken hostage by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
Originally taken on 18 April 2010, the Taiwanese (Province of China) - flagged fishing vessel was used by pirates as a mother ship before it eventually capsized in July 2011, when the remaining crewmembers were moved on shore. Of the 24 original crewmen, 6 succumbed to illness while in captivity. Another 14 hostages from Myanmar were released before the vessel’s capsizing in May 2011.
The crew received medical and humanitarian support during almost 5 years in captivity. During this time, the UNODC Hostage Support Programme and various private donors were instrumental in providing the medical and humanitarian support that ultimately kept the crew alive until their release and served as the primary source of information to family members of the hostages.
“The crew of the Prantalay 12 has spent the last five years in horrendous conditions,” said OBP’s Regional Manager, John Steed, who also heads the UNODC Hostage Support Programme and has been assisting with humanitarian and medical support for the hostages. "We hope to reunite these men with their families as soon as possible.”
The October 2014 United Nations Security Council report states “The UNODC Hostage Support Programme, funded by the trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, has provided medical support to the crews of the FV Naham 3 and the FV Prantalay 12. The Programme secured proof-of-life calls for all the hostages from the FV Prantalay 12 and delivered medicine and welfare items.”
Twenty-six hostages from the FV Naham 3 remain in pirate captivity in Somalia and the UNODC Hostage Support Programme continues to support these crew members and their families while attempting to secure their release.