Somali pirates released a Panama-flagged merchant ship with 16 Filipino sailors, after 10 months.
A report on news site Bar-Kulan on Saturday (Manila time) quoted that pirates may have received a total of $7.7 million in ransom.
The pirates had held the vessel carrying crude oil and its crew hostage at the pirate-infested Hobyo coastline after seizing the ship.
A separate article on the Somalia Report website said the merchant vessel MT Polar and its crew of 24 was hijacked on October 30, 2010 by pirates using another mother ship, the supertanker Samho Dream.
"The Polar is a good example of the international complexity of the shipping industry. The Polar is a Chinese built, Panamanian flagged, Liberian owned (on paper), Greek managed, European and Asian crewed ship carrying Iraqi crude to a US customer," it said.
It said the crew included 16 seamen from the Philippines, four from Montenegro, three from Greece and one from Romania.
The Somalia Report said the pirates included Nur Diri, Mohamed Mohamed Garfanji and Abdi Risak Dhonbe.
Last month, Somalia Report interviewed two of the pirates holding the MT Polar, who said they have high hopes of replenishing their depleted coffers with the ransom cash from the vessel.
Hayle Mohamed, who leads the pirate group holding the Polar, and Rage Abdi, who was a stakeholder in the Samho Dream hijacking, both said they had spent their share of the $9.5-million ransom for the supertanker on luxury cars and paying for elaborate weddings.
Mohamed said the Polar owners offered to pay $10 million in ransom, but the kidnappers demanded $15 million
Date: 27Aug2011 Source: GmaNews.tv