Somali pirates freed a Taiwanese tuna fishing vessel hijacked 10 months ago yesterday after receiving a ransom, a maritime monitoring agency reported.
The FV Win Far 161 was hijacked in April last year near the Seychelles. Ecoterra, a Kenya-based organisation that monitors shipping off Somalia, said it had 17 Filipino, four Indonesian, four Chinese and two Taiwanese crew members on board.
“Unfortunately not all (the crew) will be able to reunite with their families since three sailors (two Indonesians and one Chinese) already died during the 10 month horror-ordeal,” Ecoterra said in a statement.
It said a “relatively small ransom” had been paid to the pirates earlier yesterday, but did not elaborate.
The Win Far 161’s crew had been “left by the shipowner and their respective governments in an awful condition, despite the pleas of a humanitarian organisation to at least provide relief food and water,” it added.
The number of piracy attacks worldwide leapt almost 40% last year, with gunmen from the failed Horn of Africa state accounting for more than half the 406 reported incidents, according to the International Maritime Bureau.
Typically, the heavily armed Somali pirates hold captured ships and their crews hostage until ransoms are paid.
Pic: Somali pirates