ECOTERRA reports the MV AL KHALIQ has been freed today after a multimillion ransom was delivered.
“She sailed free after the last pirate left the vessel this morning,” an ECOTERRA marine biologist reported from the central Somali coast.
The Panamanian-flagged 22,000 dwt handymax bulker MV AL KHALIQ was captured in October, around 180 miles west of the Seychelles. The crew consists of 24 Indian sailors and two Burmese nationals.
Reuters quoted Somali pirates as saying they received a $3.1 million ransom, local reports speak of $3.2m, paid by the British shipowner.
The vessel is owner-managed by London-based Holbud Ship Management and it is obvious that the British government did not counteract a ransom payment in this case.
The release was said to be imminent two weeks ago, but it was postponed at the last minute.
The vessel, with over 35,000 metric tons of wheat grain for Mombasa in Kenya has now sailed free from the Somali coast near Harardheere. Reports say all crew on board are ok, given the circumstances. Their nightmare is finally over.
The ship had to be refuelled so it could make the five day trip to Mombasa. MT APLHA PINA was sent with fuel from Mombasa and is now escorting MV AL KHALIQ to the Kenyan port.
ECOTERRA International is the Global Society for ECOlogy and sound ECOnomy, an independent, international civil society organisation, registered as a non-governmental organisation (NGO), working as humanitarian agency and in development.