Moscow: The 10 Somali pirates recently
released by the Russian Navy in the high seas of Gulf of Aden
after an anti-piracy operation are most likely dead, according
to Defence Ministry here.
"According to the latest information, the pirates who
seized the Moscow University oil tanker failed to reach the
shore. Evidently, they have all died," the high-ranking source
was quoted as saying by all Russia`s official news agencies.
They were released because of "imperfections" in
international law. Authorities initially had said the pirates
would be brought to Russia to face criminal charges after
hijacking a Russian oil tanker.
The pirate`s inflatable boat without navigation
equipment disappeared from radars an hour after they had been
released by the Russian Navy, RIA Novosti.
The `Moscow University` tanker with 23 Russian
crew-members was hijacked last week near the Gulf of Aden.
Ten pirates were captured and one was killed in the
special operation carried by commando team of the Russian
Navy`s "Marshal Shaposhnikov` destroyer currently on
anti-piracy vigil in the region.
The captured pirates were initially to be sent to
Moscow for prosecution, but Russian naval officials then made
the decision to release them, citing the absence of a legal
base to carry out prosecution procedures against pirates as
the Russian owned tanker carrying crude to China was sailing
under Liberian flag.