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Crew of Russian tanker released in Libya — Chechen leader

October 24, 2016, 17:11 UTC+3

Captain Andrey Krynin, First Officer Stanislav Sirotkin and Second Officer Valery Savitsky have been released from custody

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Head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov,

Head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov,

© Artiom Geodakyan/TASS

GROZNY, October 24. /TASS/. The head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has said all crewmembers of the Russian oil tanker The Mikhail Chebotaryov, detained in Libya on September 16, 2015, have been freed and are about to return to Russia.

"Captain Andrey Krynin, First Officer Stanislav Sirotkin and Second Officer Valery Savitsky have been released from custody. A delegation I’ve sent to Libya in coordination with the Russian Foreign Ministry is there at the moment. It will take our citizens on board a plane that will fly them to Russia," Kadyrov said in Instagram.

Kadyrov’s aide, State Duma member Adam Delimkhanov, was holding talks on the sailors’ release.

Kadyrov said Delimkhanov had discussed the crew’s release with Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj and State Council President Abdurrahman Sewheli and Chief Investigator at the Prosecutor-General’s Office Al-Sadiq Al-Sur, who promised that the sailors would be allowed to return home immediately after the court session.

"On my instructions Adam Delimkhanov has been dealing with the issue of the crew’s release as of the moment of their detention by the Libyan authorities. Part of the rank-and-file crewmembers have since returned to Russia," Kadyrov said.

Russia’s oil tanker The Mikhail Cheboytaryov and its eleven crew members were detained at Tripoli’s seaport on September 17, 2015. The Libyan authorities charged them with smuggling oil from Zuwarah, Libya. Some crew were later released, but the captain and his two officers remained in detention pending trial.

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