Monday, March 23, 2009

Somali Pirates: Indian ship captured by pirates - then released

Reported here:
An Indian ship with 16 crew was hijacked Saturday off the coast of Somalia, said local newspaper Hindustan Times on Sunday.

The hijacked ship, Al Rafiquei, was taken to an undisclosed location after being hijacked on its way to Mogadishu from Dubai, said the local daily.

The ship was carrying a cargo of rice, refined oil, wheat and general cargo, said the newspaper quoting Mumbai-based Director-General Shipping, a shipping management authority.

Such vessels have just basic gadgets and their crew members are not certified, according to the newspaper.
Which may be a way of saying to the pirates,"Don't expect too much ransom."

In any event, a follow on report says the ship and crew were released:
SOMALI PIRATES released all the sixteen Indian sailors on board a hijacked vessel off the Somali coast on Saturday night (March 21).

The directorate general of shipping later confirmed that all the sailors are safe.

The vessel, MSV Al Rafiquei was hijacked by Somali pirates at 10:30 am on Saturday. But pressurised by some unknown reasons, they had to release the ship by 18:30 pm (IST).

The DG also reported that the sailors were beaten up by the pirates before being released. They also snatched away the mobile phones from the sailors, five barrels of petrol and twenty barrels of diesel.

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