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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Somalia: Ransom paid, ship and crew released

Pirates Release Crew of German Cargo Ship:
The Lehmann Timber was seized in the Gulf of Aden on May 28. The crew taken hostage included: the Russian captain, and a crew of four Ukrainians, one Estonian and nine Myanmar nationals.

The pirates are reported to have set July 7 as the ransom deadline and promised to kill the crew if it was not paid. Although shots were heard from the vessel late on Monday, the captain, who was in touch with the Ukrainian authorities, said the pirates fired in the air probably trying to scare the crew and negotiators.

“Today, at 5 a.m., the ransom was brought to the Lehmann Timber board. The pirates counted the money for several hours and then the vessel headed to the closest port. The exact sum of money is unknown, but the hostages said that the bandits had demanded $750,000,” the Segodnya newspaper said on its website.

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