Mumbai, Nov 16 : Exactly after two months, the hijacked merchant ship "MT Stolt Valor" was released this morning. The ship, with 18 Indian crew members on board was said to be on its way to Mumbai now.
The Japanese vessel was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia on September 16.
For the last two months, the Indian sailors from Stolt Valor had been held hostage by the Somalian pirates, who were demanding a ransom. The hijackers had demanded a ransom of 6 crore rupees, said sources.
The Japanese shipping company had been holding negotiations with the pirates to secure the sailors' release, even as there were demands from their family members that the Indian government to intervene and get them to safety.
In fact, India has identified that a large number of sea pirates were operating from the seaports of Eyl and Hobyo in Somalia and is closely monitoring movements of pirates in the area.
A sizeable portion of India's trade flows through the Gulf of Aden and there has been a quantum increase in the number of piracy attacks in the region over the last few months.