Somali pirates have released a German-owned chemical tanker with 19 Indians among its crew of 22 almost eight months after it was taken hostage in waters south of Oman, the European Union Naval Force said on Tuesday.
While the Marshall Island flagged vessel was set free reportedly after its hijackers received a ransom, another German-operated ship was seized in the Gulf of Aden.
Pirates wielding automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades in the Indian Ocean on May 8, 2010 captured MV Marida Marguerite.
With a deadweight of 13,168 tones and a crew of 22 (19 Indian, 1 Ukrainian and 2 Bangladeshi) she was bound for Antwerp, Holland, when taken by pirates approximately 120 nautical miles South of Salalah, Oman, the EU force said in a press release.
Meanwhile, it also announced that in the early hours of December 27, the MV EMS River was pirated approximately 175 nautical miles North East of the port of Salalah, Oman.
The 5,200 ton general cargo ship, which is Antigua/Barbuda flagged and German-owned, was on her way to San Nicolas, Greece from Jebel Ali in the UAE at the time of the attack.
The vessel has a crew of 8 (1 Romanian, 7 Philipinos) and is carrying a cargo of Petroleum Coke. The pirated vessel MT Motivator was in the vicinity of EMS River throughout the attack that further enforces the current pirate modus operandi of the use of motherships, the EU force said.
There are now 26 vessels and 609 hostages being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia.