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Somali pirates release oil tanker and crew after first hijack for five years - Where is the (PAG) Pi


EU NAVFOR:

EU Naval Force (Somalia) Confirms Fuel Tanker Aris 13 and Crew Are Safe and on Their Way to Safe Port After Armed Pirates Depart Ship

The EU Naval Force (Somalia) can confirm that fuel tanker Aris 13 and her crew are now en route to a safe port on the north coast of Somalia after armed pirates, who had been holding the crew since Monday 13 March 2017, departed the ship. The master confirmed that his crew had suffered no injuries during their 4-day ordeal.

It is understood that members of the Puntland Maritime Police Force assisted with the ship’s release and are currently on board.

Further details about the release are still to be confirmed.

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Where is the (PAG) Pirate Action Group now?

The Guardian:`

Comoros-flagged ship and eight Sri Lankan crew are freed without payment of ransom after negotiations

Somali pirates who seized a Comoros-flagged oil tanker have released the ship and its eight Sri Lankan crew, bringing the first hijacking since 2012 to an unusually swift conclusion without the payment of a ransom.

The release followed a gunfight earlier on Thursday between the pirates and the marine force, and then intensive negotiations between the marine force, clan elders and the pirates.

“There has been discussion going on after the gunfight of this afternoon … We pulled our forces back and so the pirates went away,” said Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, the director general of the maritime police force for Somalia’s semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland.

A pirate confirmed the release had been made without a ransom payment. In previous hijackings, many crews remained in captivity for years before a ransom was paid. Eight Iranians are still being held.

But the pirates said they had agreed to forego a ransom after learning that Somali businessmen had hired the Aris 13, which was taking oil from Djibouti to the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Pirates have traditionally been wary of tangling with Somalia’s powerful businessmen.

“After we came to know that the Somali traders hired the oil tanker, we released it without a ransom,” pirate Abdullahi told Reuters.

Full article here - The Guardian


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