Four Stolt Valor sailors return to India

November 24th, 2008 - 12:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 24 (IANS) Four of the 18 Indian crewmembers of MT Stolt Valor, a ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates in September, returned to Mumbai from Muscat Monday, according to the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI).Estidore Fernandes and Alistair Fernandes of Goa, Om Prakash Shukla of Mumbai, and Navid Borundkar of Ratnagiri reached here safely, said NUSI spokesman Sunil Nair.

MT Stolt Valor, with 22 crewmembers including 18 Indians, was hijacked by a group of Somali pirates off the Yemen coast Sep 15 while it was bound for Mumbai from the Suez Canal.

The pirates took the vessel to the Somali coast and demanded a ransom of $6 million. They released the ship Nov 16 after reportedly collecting $2.5 million from the ship’s owners.

The remaining 14 Indian crewmembers are in Muscat and are expected to reach Mumbai Tuesday. The ship will also return Tuesday.

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