Somalian pirates sieze ship for ransom

rushie
8th May 2006, 16:38
Taken from Lloyds List today -

PIRATES in Somalia have released a cargo vessel they seized off the coast of the Horn of Africa over the weekend after a $25,000 ransom was paid, a maritime official said on Sunday.

The United Arab Emirates-flagged Al Taj, which was heading to the port city of Kismayu was seized on April 27 by gunmen and commandeered to a coastal town near Harardheere, 400 km north of the capital Mogadishu.

One crew member was killed and two others seriously injured during the hijacking. The vesselís Libyan captain and remaining nine Indian crew were freed.

"We are informed that a Kismayu businessman paid $25,000 so that the gunmen could release the vessel and her crew," said Andrew Mwangura, of the Seafarers Assistance Programme, a Kenyan-based organisation representing sailors in the region.

"It is now (sailing) back to Dubai with her cargo intact," he said in a statement.