The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said that it was working on the release and repatriation of eight Indians held in Qatar. The ministry’s spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the Indian Embassy in Qatar was in touch with local authorities.

Media reports had said that eight former Indian Navy officers were detained in Qatar in early September. It is not known why they were held or under what charges.

All eight persons were working for a private company called Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, according to The Indian Express. The company describes itself as a local business partner of the Qatar defence, security and other government agencies.

On Thursday, Bagchi said that the Indian citizens have been granted consular access and Indian officials in Qatar had ascertained their well-being.

“The detained persons have also spoken to their family members on a few occasions,” Bagchi said. “We have requested another round of consular access and we are following up with Qatari authorities on this.