TWO PIRATES have been killed in a gunfight with a rival group after releasing the hijacked Greek VLCC Maran Centaurus, Fairplay was told today.Yep, $7 million will bring out the worst in some people.
Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme told Fairplay that pirates released the ship after a record-breaking ransom of more than $7M was dropped onto the tanker yesterday by helicopter.
While returning to shore, the pirates were attacked by a rival group and two of them were killed, he said.The 300,294dwt tanker was taken on 29 November in the Somali Basin with 28 crew members aboard, EU NAVFOR reported. It was released this morning outside Haradere off Somalia and is now heading towards Durban.
Operator and manager Maran Tankers Management said all crew members are safe and well. The company would not confirm whether a ransom had been paid, “as they do not wish to provide any information which might in any way encourage further criminal acts of this kind”.
Meanwhile, the Turkish navy has helped Indian tanker Jag Layak evade an attack by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
A helicopter from Turkish frigate TCG Gokova intercepted a pirate skiff that had opened fire on the 147,834dwt tanker on Saturday morning, EU NAVFOR said. No-one was hurt in the crew, and suspected pirates were arrested.