ATHENS, Greece – Greek authorities said Friday that Somali pirates released a Greek-flagged supertanker captured two months ago off the coast of Oman, while the EU's anti-piracy force say another ship in the same region was hijacked.
The EU Naval Force said that at least 10 pirates boarded the German-owned MV Susan on Friday off East Africa only 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Oman's coast. The vessel was heading to Sudan from Mumbai, India. The ship had a crew of 10 — six Filipinos and four Ukrainians.
Meanwhile, Greece's Merchant Marine Ministry said that according to the shipowning company, the Irene S.L. and its 25-member crew had been released unharmed and the ship was heading to the port of Durban in South Africa. It did not say whether a ransom had been paid.
Somali pirates had captured the ship and its cargo of 266,000 tons of crude oil on Feb. 9, about 230 miles (370 kilometers) east of Oman. At the time, Greek authorities had said it had a crew of seven Greeks, 17 Filipinos and one Georgian, and had been heading to the Gulf of Mexico.
Pirates have continued their attacks off East Africa despite the presence of a flotilla of international warships. The average ransom paid for a ship and crew is reported to be nearly $5 million.
Somalia pirates hijack German cargo ship-EU
NAIROBI, April 8 (Reuters) - Somali pirates hijacked aGerman-owned cargo ship on Friday just 35 miles off the coast ofOman, the EU's anti-piracy task force said.
The Antigua and Barbuda-flagged vessel was attacked andboarded by at least 10 pirates while on its way to Port Sudanfrom Mumbai in India, the naval force said in a statement.
"In the early morning of 8 April, the general cargo ship MVSusan K was pirated approximately 200 nautical miles northeastof Salalah, Oman, a location only 35 nautical miles from theOmani coastline," the EU Navfor said.
It said the vessel has a crew of 10 from Ukraine and thePhilippines.
Somalia has lacked an effective central government for twodecades, allowing armed gangs to stalk the strategic waterwaysoff the Horn of Africa nation and rake in tens of millions ofdollars in ransoms each year