Somali pirates release Greek oil tanker with Indians on board



London: Somali pirates have released a Greek-owned oil tanker with 26 crew members, including 11 Indians, after holding them captive for ten months, the vessel's operating company said on Tuesday.

"We are very pleased to report that the MT SMYRNI has been released after ten months in the captivity of Somali pirates. All of the crew are safe and well and the vessel is proceeding to a port of refuge," the Athens-based Dynacom Tankers Management said in a statement posted on its website.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the crew, their families, our employees and those agencies that have provided support through this long ordeal," the statement said.

The tanker was captured by an unknown number of pirates some 300 nautical miles east of Oman, having departed from Turkey, Greek news agency ANA reported. Its crew consisted of two Greeks, 14 Filipinos, 11 Indians and one Romanian.

The Liberian-flagged tanker carried 135.000 metric tonnes of oil.

MT Smyrni is the second ship released by Somali pirates within the last few days. A chemical tanker hijacked a year ago with more than 20 people on board was also freed last week.

The company did not confirm reports of ransom paid to the pirates.

PTI