Ship from India, released by Somali pirates, sails to Mombasa

June 3rd, 2008 - 4:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, June 3 (Xinhua) A Jordanian-flagged cargo ship recently released by Somali pirates is sailing from Mogadishu to Kenya’s port city of Mombasa, a regional maritime official said Tuesday. The vessel, sailing from India with 4,000 tonnes of sugar on board donated by Denmark and a crew of 12 from Pakistan, India, Tanzania and Bangladesh, was seized by the pirates May 18.

Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Programme, confirmed that the MV Victoria left the Somali capital Monday and is expected to dock in Mombasa in the next three days.

“The MV Victoria left Mogadishu port early Monday. She is currently under way to Mombasa port. She is expected here in the next three to four days,” Mwangura told Xinhua by telephone.

The MV Victoria freed last week was the latest vessel to have been seized in the war-ravaged nation in a string of attacks off the lawless Somali coast.

“The crew is safe and healthy and the vessel has discharged its cargo of 2,400 tonnes of sugar,” Mwangura said.

The seas off Somalia have some of the highest rates of piracy in the world, with a dozen vessels attacked this year, and three in recent weeks.

Somali officials have blamed Western companies for encouraging more hijackings, accusing them of paying ransoms that can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution Tuesday, allowing countries to chase and arrest pirates off Somalia’s coast.

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