Somali pirates free hijacked ship after ransom

Somali pirates free hijacked ship after ransom
# 11 May 2010 21:16 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Somali pirates have released a Bermuda-flagged ship they hijacked in the Indian Ocean two months ago, APA reports quoting BBC.

Pirates left the 11,000-tonne refrigerated cargo vessel MV Talca after a ransom was paid, the EU anti-piracy force Navfor said.

The ship with a crew of 22 was seized off the coast of Oman. The mostly Sri Lankan crew is reported to be well.

Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships this year, despite the presence of international naval forces.

The ransom was dropped onto the ship on Saturday but the pirates only left on Monday, heading for the Somali coast, the European naval force, Navfor, said.

It said it was monitoring the vessel’s progress as it headed towards Oman.

War and weak government in Somalia have allowed piracy to flourish along its coast, with frequent attacks on the busy shipping lanes that link Europe and Asia.

Navfor is one of several international naval forces trying to deter and disrupt the pirates.

’Lost at sea’

In another development, nine pirates captured by the Russian navy last week are thought to have died after being released in a boat hundreds of miles from the nearest land, reports from Moscow said.

The pirates were captured by Russian marines who stormed an oil tanker they had hijacked as it headed to China.

The Russian authorities set them free in a boat without navigation equipment, after deciding that there were insufficient grounds in international law to put them on trial in Russia.

Russian news agencies quoted a senior military source as saying that the boat subsequently disappeared from radar and never made it ashore.