The captains of 15 Filipino fishing-boats who were jailed for fishing illegally in Indonesia have been sent back to the Philippines.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said, in a statement, the 15 Filipinos were arrested for illegal fishing in Indonesia and given jail terms from five months to three years. Five other Filipinos were held for overstaying in Indonesia.

Oscar Orcine, consul-general of the Philippine Consulate General in Manado in northern Sulawezi Island, said the fishing-boat captains were turned over to the consulate on Monday and the men sent back to the Philippines.

Orcine said the Filipinos each received a welfare assistance of 5,000 pesos (US$93) from the consulate before boarding their flight back home.

“Before leaving for the Philippines, the boat captains expressed their appreciation for the welfare assistance to them while they were still in prison,” Orcine said.