MANILA, Philippines – Twelve Filipinos held in Iran after their vessel was caught in the Persian Gulf on Saturday will receive assistance from the Philippine Embassy in Tehran.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) assured help on Sunday, stating that “The Embassy is seeking further updates on the seafarers’ condition, and stands ready to provide assistance when needed.”

The Department said that the Filipino crewmen in a tugboat ware seized due to alleged oil smuggling along the Persian Gulf on September 7.

Philippine Ambassador to Iran Wilfredo Santos said that Coast Guard authorities are currently studying the allegation against the crew members.

“Once this has been established, the matter will be referred to the local court,” he said.

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