After 11 months, Somali pirates free ship with 11 Indians on board

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Someoneforyou, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

    Jan 26, 2011
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    9 MARCH 2011

    NEW DELHI: Eleven months after being seized, a ship with 11 Indians and 12 others has been freed by Somali pirates, government sources said today.

    Babu, father of Roji V John, second officer trainee in the ship and a native of nearby Pathanamthitta district told PTI that authorities of Rack International company, which owns the ship, handed over the ransom amount yesterday.

    MV Rak Africana, registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadine, is still said to be in the Somalian waters but all the Indians on board are safe.

    "We can confirm that the ship (MV Rak Africana) and its crew members have been freed but the ship is still in the Somalian waters," said a source in the Shipping Ministry which is the nodal department in such matters.

    The source said the ship has developed some technical snag and will take some time to sail again, but refused to share other details.

    MV Rak Africana was seized approximately 280 nautical miles west of the Seychelles on April 11, 2010 with 23 crew members on board.

    Babu, who who travelled to Dubai about a month back and returned on march seven said "today we received the phone call from John and e-mail from the authorities about his release. They will reach Kenya and from there to Mumbai within a couple of days", he said.

    John was part of the 26 member crew of M V Rack Africana which was hijacked on april 10,2010 while on its way to Morali in Africa. He had joined the ship as part of his Bsc Nautical Science Course two years ago.

    The pirates, numbering about 25, were demanding a ransom of seven million US dollars. "Negotiations were going on all these days and they might have reduced the amount little bit", he said.

    Somali pirates have struck several times in the international waters over the last few years, seizing several ship, six of which had 64 Indians on board before the release of Rak Africana crew members.

    India has been talking to various countries in that region seeking their cooperation in fighting the menace but has ruled out hot pursuit.

    Source: Press Trust of India

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