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Somali pirates release 11 Indians

Source: PTI
March 09, 2011 18:08 IST
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Eleven Indians, who were hijacked by Somali pirates 11 months ago, were released on Wednesday.

Babu, father of Roji V John, a second officer in a cargo ship and a native of Pathanamthitta district, told PTI that authorities of the Rack International company, which owns the ship, handed over the ransom amount on Tuesday.

Babu, who travelled to Dubai nearly a month ago and returned on March 7, said, "We received a phone call from John and an e-mail from the authorities about his release. They will reach Kenya and from there (they will come to) Mumbai within a couple of days," he said.

John was part of the 26-member crew of M V Rack Africana, which was hijacked on April 10, 2010 while on its way to Morali in Africa. He had joined the ship as part of his Bsc Nautical Science Course two years ago. The pirates had demanded a ransom of $ 7 million.

"Negotiations were going on all these days and they might have reduced the amount a little bit," he said.

Babu said, "On Tuesday, the authorities who had flown in a chartered flight dropped the bundle of notes covered with a plastic bag in the sea as per the instructions of pirates who arrived at the spot in a speed boat. It takes minimum seven to eight hours for them to count and divide the booty."

The pirates accompanied the ship carrying the crew members up to the border, where an Indian Navy ship was anchored to take them back home.

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