Taipei: Taiwan`s foreign ministry says a Taiwanese fishing vessel and its 26-member crew were freed after being held by Somali pirates for almost 19 months.
The ministry says the Shiuh Fu No. 1 was released yesterday after the ship`s owner completed negotiations with the hijackers. The ministry didn`t say whether a ransom was paid, but analysts say Somali pirates often get ransoms averaging USD 5 million.
The Shiuh Fu was seized Dec 25, 2010, off the Madagascar coast and taken to Somalia. Its crew comprises a Taiwanese captain, and 13 Chinese and 12 Vietnamese nationals.
The ministry says a Chinese navy ship took the crew to Tanzania, because the Shiuh Fu had run aground.
The European Union Naval Force Somalia says seven vessels and 211 hostages are still held by Somali pirates.