Freed bulk carrier arrives in Salalah

Published: October 5, 2011

Panamanian-flagged and Greek-owned bulk carrier MV Dover, which was released by the pirates off the coast of Somalia, last Friday, arrived at the port of Salalah late on Monday night.
“The ship, which was in the clutches of Somali pirates for the last eight months, arrived late on Monday in the port of Salalah,” said Eunavfor, an international maritime command which is fighting piracy in the region.
The bulk carrier has Filipino seafarers on board and the Philippines Embassy officials in Muscat have made arrangements to assist the freed seafarers.
According to embassy officials, senior diplomats will be travelling to Salalah to issue travel documents to those whose passports have expired and to extend further consular assistance to them.
According to Eunavfor, the bulk carrier was hijacked on February 28, approximately 260 nautical miles northeast off Salalah in the Arabian Sea. It was transiting to Saleef in Yemen from Port Quasim in Pakistan when it was attacked.
Earlier, Philippines Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez told a news agency in Manila that the crew members would undergo medical checkup and debriefing in the Sultanate before they could be flown back to the Philippines.
Sources say that the flight details of the freed sailors would be confirmed later and their families have already been informed of their release. According to a Somali news report, $3.8 million ransom was dropped by air to the pirates last
“There were about two dozen pirates involved in the piracy led by Ise Yulxu from sub-clan Ali Saleeban of Majertan clan,” the Somali report added.
In recent years, Somali pirates have hijacked hundreds of ships, taking in hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom. Ships are patrolling the shipping lanes near Somalia in an effort to put a check on piracy, but the Eunavfor has warned that such attacks are likely to continue in the future too.
Most piracies usually end without casualties when a ransom has been paid. This, however, often takes months. According to a recent study, maritime piracy cost the global economy up to $12 billion last year, with Somalia-based pirates responsible for 95 per cent of the loss.
Source: Times of Oman

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