Somali pirates release tanker after receiving $3.5 million ransom
After four month ordeal, a North Korean tanker was released from the hands of Somali pirates on Tuesday reportedly after receiving a $3.5 million ransom.
Mogadishu — Somali pirates released a chemical tanker and its North Korean crew on Tuesday after holding the vessel for four months, a maritime official said on Tuesday.
"Theresa VIII and her 28 all North Korean crew members are now free," said Mwangura.
Somali sea gangs have plagued the busy shipping lanes off Somalia for several years earning ransoms worth millions of dollars from most vessels captured.
Somali pirates were held responsible for more than half of the 406 reported incidents in 2009. They hijacked 47 vessels and 867 crew members were taken hostage, according to the International Maritime Bureau.
Most vessels and crew are released unharmed after a ransom has been paid, although some sailors have been wounded during hijackings and others have had health problems after protracted periods of captivity off the Somali coast.