Somali pirates release Greek tanker after ransom is paid

November 21st, 2008 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow/Athens, Nov 21 (RIA Novosti) Somali pirates have released the Greek tanker Genius after receiving a ransom payment, Russia’s Sovfracht maritime bulletin said Friday. The tanker, owned by a Greek company and flying the Liberian flag, had 19 crewmembers aboard when it was seized on its way from Romania to the United Arab Emirates Sep 27.

A spokesman for the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine and Island Policy has failed either to confirm or deny the news.

“We know nothing about it,” the spokesman said by telephone.

The pirates were currently holding 15 vessels and a yacht, Sovfracht said.

The UN Security Council adopted Thursday a resolution proposed by Britain introducing tougher sanctions against Somalia over the country’s failure to prevent a surge in sea piracy.

Russia announced Thursday it would deploy its warships off the coast of East Africa on a regular basis to prevent pirate attacks on merchant ships.

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