The European Union's anti-piracy force says Somali pirates have freed a British-flagged chemical tanker they had held for more than four months after receiving a ransom. The EU said Friday that the St. James Park is now sailing to Thailand after pirates received a ransom Thursday. Somali pirates seized the St. James Park on December 28 as it headed for Tha Phut, Thailand. The ship, which has 26 crew members, began its journey from Tarragona, Spain. Its crew are from the Philippines, Russia, Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland, India and Turkey.
Somali pirates are currently holding at least 20 vessels. The Horn of Africa nation's 19 years of lawlessness has allowed piracy to flourish, with pirates earning multimillion dollar ransoms.