Singapore-flagged chemical tanker freed, ransom paid

February 28, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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Somali pirates released a Singaporean-flagged chemical tanker MV Pramoni they had hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on January 1 after a ransom was paid, maritime officials said on Friday.

Andrew Mwangura of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme said the ransom money had been delivered and the vessel freed.

“MV Pramoni is free. All 24 crew comprised of 17 Indonesians, 5 Chinese, a Vietnamese and a Nigerian are safe and sound,” Mwangura told Reuters.

The EU naval force in the region and pirates had earlier confirmed the delivery of the ransom.

The number of piracy attacks worldwide leapt almost 40 percent last year, with gunmen from the failed Horn of Africa state accounting for more than half the 406 reported incidents, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

Typically, the heavily armed Somali pirates hold captured ships and their crews hostage until ransoms are paid.