The foreign ministry on Saturday said that a young man of Cypriot origin who had been residing in the Philippines for the past 12 years has been successfully repatriated.

Now 18 years old, Iasonas Kynigopoulos was born in Cyprus to a Cypriot father and Filipino mother. In 2010, when he was six, he was taken to the Philippines by his mother.

Speaking to several outlets, his father Yiannis Kynigopoulos claimed he never consented to the move and that he has been trying to get his son back to Cyprus since it took place.

He also said that the teen had reportedly been abandoned by his mother after she left the Philippines to work in Saudi Arabia, leaving him with fewer means.

From reports in the local media, it is understood that Iasonas was not permitted to exit the Philippines after his travel documents had expired, making him an illegal immigrant in the country.

“Thanks to concerted efforts from the foreign ministry’s consular division and the embassy of the Philippines, all legal, judicial and bureaucratic obstacles were surpassed, making it possible to remove him from the list of persons banned from leaving the Philippines,” the foreign ministry said in a written statement.

The cost of the repatriation was borne by the ministry, and the statement also gave special thanks to the Filipino ambassador, and Christos Saveriades, a Cypriot businessman active in the Philippines who was heavily involved in helping the consular division with the operation.

“We welcome Iasonas to Cyprus and express our joy and satisfaction for the smooth resolution of this difficult humanitarian case, which has resulted in today’s reunion of Iasonas with his family in Cyprus”.

The ministry finally extended well wishes, wishing Iasonas a smooth reintegration into Cypriot society.