In March 2016, a Sierra Leone-flagged vessel belonging to a company registered in Turkey was detained by the Libyan Coast Guard while moving in the direction of Libya-Malta-Turkey. The 12-member ship crew, including 3 Azerbaijani citizens, was jailed for five years, for smuggling petroleum products. Unfortunately, Elshad Huseynov, a sailor of the ship, died in Libya.
The ministry noted that thanks to the measures taken by the Azerbaijani government to ensure the return of its citizens – ship captain Elmikhan Baghirov and sailor Aliagha Babayev – these persons were released and placed in a temporary detention center by a decision made by the Libyan Prosecutor General’s Office on 29 December 2020.
The measures taken by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Istanbul ensured the return to the homeland of Elmikhan Baghirov and Aliagha Babayev on a Tripoli-Istanbul-Baku flight on December 21.
The evacuation was carried out with the support of Turkey and Libya, the coordination of Ukraine, as well as with the support of the shipping company, the Azerbaijani ministry added.