A Greek-owned tanker that was captured by Somali pirates was released after a ransom was paid, according to a report from Somalia-based Radio Garowe. The vessel is now said to be heading towards the Oman coast.
The MT Liquid Velvet, a chemical tanker with a crew of 21 Filipinos and one Greek, was captured by pirates last October. According to gCaptain, a news service that reports on maritime and offshore news, the ship’s anti-piracy personnel amounted to a single unarmed security “adviser.”
The pirates originally wanted $8 million, but reportedly settled for much lower, but undisclosed, amount.
None of the crew members were killed in the hijacking.
Reports from gCaptain earlier this year suggested the Liquid Velvet was also used as a mothership for subsequent pirate attacks.
The ransom comes as pirate attacks in the region have declined steadily over the last year due to the increased presence of international naval ships. Although ransoms paid out per successful hijacking have increased.
Last week, forces in the Puntland autonomous region of Somalia, launched an attack targeting a pirate leader in Somalia, according to The Associated Press, quoting an unnamed official in the government.
The official said a Puntland helicopter fired on a house in Bali Dhidid, where the pirate leader is said to be hiding. The leader was believed to be wounded in the incident.