Filipino Seafarers in Algeria Face Trial After Drug Allegations

A court in Algeria has denied all motions filed by eight Filipino seafarers detained after drugs were found on their ship, the Maltese-flagged MV Harris. Cocaine, weighing 35.8 kilos, was allegedly discovered among the cargo, leading to their arrest. The case will now be brought before a criminal court for trial by early May.
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Eight Filipino seafarers detained in Algeria have had all their motions denied by a court after drugs were allegedly found on their ship, the MV Harris, in July last year. The seafarers were arrested after 35.8 kilos of cocaine were discovered among the cargo of the Maltese-flagged vessel in the port of Algiers. The owner’s representative of the Eastern Mediterranean Manning Agency, Capt. Ioannis Gogos, revealed that the Algerian indictment chamber rejected the Filipinos’ petition for bail and house arrest, as well as their plea to drop the charges against them.

The case will now move to a criminal court, with a trial expected to take place in early May. Gogos stated that they are seeking further assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Migrant Workers in light of the recent developments. The DFA had previously pledged support for the detained seafarers, but Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega indicated that they are currently deferring to the DMW for decisions and actions, as the seafarers fall under their jurisdiction according to the law.

Efforts to reach DMW Officer-in-Charge, Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac, for comment on the situation have so far been unsuccessful. The Filipino seafarers’ legal battle in Algeria continues, with the court’s denial of their motions setting the stage for a trial in the coming months. The involvement of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Migrant Workers remains crucial in providing support and assistance to the detained seafarers as they navigate the legal process in a foreign country.

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