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Somali pirates release Singaporean container ship

By on December 29, 2009

Somali pirates have released the Singapore-flagged container ship Kota Wajar, which was seized on October 15 north of the Seychelles, pirates and the European Union naval force said on Tuesday.

“We have received $4 million and released the ship and its 21 crew late yesterday,” pirate Mohamed told Reuters. “The crew were happy and clapping when our friends got down from the ship.”

The European Union naval force (EU Navfor) patrolling the shipping lanes off Somalia confirmed the release of the 24,637-tonne vessel, captured as it was sailing to the Kenyan port of Mombasa from Singapore.

EU Navfor said in a statement that the Canadian warship HMCS Fredericton was now providing medical and logistical assistance to the Kota Wajar.

Somali pirates have made tens of millions of dollars from hijacking ships and holding them until a ransom is paid.

According to Ecoterra International, a group that monitors shipping off Somalia, at least 10 foreign vessels and 228 seafarers are still being held by pirates.


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