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    Iran Agrees to Release 21 Indian Fishermen Detained on Suspicion of Smuggling

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    Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy has increased its vigilance in the Persian Gulf, a result of which being that migrant laborers working on vessels leaving from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain are often detained on suspicion of smuggling.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — After months of diplomatic efforts, India has secured the release of 21 fishermen who were stranded in Iran after their employers in the West Asian nation withheld their passports.

    The southern state of Tamil Nadu, from which the fishermen hail, appealed last month to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the Indian Embassy in Iran to take steps to repatriate the 21 fishermen stranded there.

    Sputnik reported in April this year that the Indian government had banned migrant workers from taking up jobs on vessels leaving from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain amid a rising number cases of arrests of migrant laborers by Iranian authorities.

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    "Several instances of arrest or detention by the Iranian authorities have been noticed by the Indian mission or post abroad in recent past since the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy is engaged in checking smuggling in the Persian Gulf. They may also face possible legal action leading to fines by the Iranian authorities or serve the jail term in Iran," the advisory warned.

    Last year, on October 24, Iranian authorities detained 15 Indian fishermen after they "inadvertently" strayed into Iranian waters. Last April, Iran released 15 fishermen from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They were detained with their 3 Bahraini boats on October 22, 2016.

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    Tags:
    labour, stranded, passports, fishermen, release, migrant workers, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Indian Foreign Ministry, Sushma Swaraj, India, Iran, Tamil Nadu, Saudi Arabia
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