Hijacked ship freed, all crew safe (Second Lead, Changing dateline)

May 23rd, 2008 - 11:50 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 23 (IANS) A Jordanian ship with 10 Indian crew members aboard, which was hijacked last week off the Somalian capital Mogadishu, was released by the pirates Friday. All the crew are safe, Indian shipping officials said here. All crew members and cargo of the hijacked Jordanian ship, M.V. Victoria, are safe and the vessel was released by the pirates around 12.50 p.m. (UAE local time), the Directorate-General of Shipping (DGS) here said in a brief statement late Friday evening.

The DGS said the vessel has proceeded towards Mogadishu in north-east Africa.

“Two Somali security guards, deputed by the cargo consignees, are on board with small arms for safe passage,” the statement added.

The ship managers and other concerned authorities of different countries were involved in negotiations since the past three days to free the vessel, which was hijacked six days ago and taken to Murgane port, around 500 nautical miles from Mogadishu.

It has 21 crewmembers, including Indians - Uttam Bhattacharjee, Sombir Kumar, Jayeshmukar Tandela, Naresh Tandel, Akhilesh Singh, Sadashiv Yadav, Chandrakant Tandel, Iman Ghosh, Leslye Anselmo Gomes and Jaivindh Jose R.

The captain of the ship is a Pakistani, Master A. A. Siddiqui and Chief Officer is S. Nayyar Q. Naqvi. Other crew are: Tanzanian chief engineer H. S. Hassan, second engineer Khin Maung Win, third engineer Aung Ko Latt (both from Myanmar), Abul Kasem, Mohammed Absar (both from Bangladesh), Mohammed M. Abdallah (Tanzania), Vincent Onyango, Juma Juma H. Mohoru and Abdalla Omar Ali (all from Kenya).

The ship is owned by Five Seas Company, and operated by Marwan Shipping Company, both based in Sharjah, the UAE.

The ship, headed from Mumbai in India, was carrying 4,200 tonnes of sugar donated by Denmark to war-torn Somalia as aid when it was seized 40 nautical miles off Mogadishu.

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