23:51 GMT08 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Six Russian sailors who had been trapped on board the Streamline vessel in Istanbul for almost a year, came ashore and left for Russia, the Russian consulate general has said.

    "Six Russian sailors, which were practically held in captivity for almost a year on board the Streamline dry cargo vessel, were finally able to go ashore and go back home on 24 May. They became victims in a legal battle between two Turkish entities claiming the vessel," the consulate general wrote on Facebook.

    READ MORE: UK Sailors Poised to Track Russian Subs Caught Taking Cocaine — Report

    The consulate general added that the situation on the ship sharply worsened several weeks ago when the Akca Shipping company, which employed them back in June 2018, and its contractor, Gondol Marine, ceased providing any services to the crew and the vessel, leaving the sailors without drinking water, food or medical assistance.

    Moreover, Akca Shipping refused to pay salaries to the seamen and cover their costs for traveling home.

    The consulate general criticized the company, saying that Russian sailors should think twice before agreeing to work for the company, and suggesting that trade unions should look into its activities.

    The statement also noted the role the Russian consulate general and the Istanbul authorities played in releasing the sailors.

    The crew captain, Bakhman Bagirov, who returned to Russia in early April, has said that Akca Shipping owed $140,000 in wages to the crew. The first court hearing on Akca Shipping’s complaint against the arrest was held earlier this year.

    READ MORE: Two Remaining Russian Sailors Return Home After Release in Libya


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