Sunday, 14 October 2012

Somali pIrAteC free ship after ransom Somali pirates free ship after ransom Sat, 13 Oct 2012 09:57:44 GMT Somali pirates have released a Greek-owned bulk carrier that they seized in the Arabian Sea after receiving a multi-million dollar ransom. Bile Hussein, a pirate based in Garacad in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia, said pirates released the Liberian-flagged MV Free Goddess and its crew of 21 Filipinos on Thursday. "He added that pirates received a ransom of $2.3 million for the vessel's release." Hussein noted that the ransom was much lower than the $9 million they originally demanded for the ship and its crew. The MV Free Goddess was hijacked on February 7, 2012. The bulk carrier was en route from Egypt’s Adabia port to Singapore, and carrying some 19,475 metric tons of steel cable. Attacks by heavily armed Somali pirates in speedboats have prompted some of the world's largest shipping firms to abandon the Suez Canal and reroute cargo vessels around southern Africa, resulting in higher shipping costs. Somalia -- strategically located in the Horn of Africa -- has been without a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. The authority of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government is generally limited to areas around the capital Mogadishu.

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