New Delhi, Nov 16: MT Stolt Valor, which was hijacked by Somali pirates with 18 Indians onboard was released on Sunday, Nov 16.
Seema Goyal, wife of Captain Prabhat Goyal who is held captive by the pirates, is said to have received the informtion from the company which owns the ship. Primary reports suggest that the demands of the pirates were met after prolonged negotiations. The Japanese company which owns the ship reportedly paid the ransom to the Somali pirates. Seema told to the mediasources that she is happy and the wait is over. She added that she received a call from the company on Sunday, Nov 16 morning from the Japanese officials and they informed that the pirates have released the ship which was held in captive for over two months.
Reports say that the ship is on its way to Mumbai and will be around in the next 3-4 days. MT Stolt Valor, a chemical tanker was hijacked by the Somali pitrates on Sep 15, 2008 in the Gulf of Aden (off the coast of Somalia) with 18 Indian members onboard. The ship is owned by a Japanese company and managed by Fleet Marine Ltd in Mumbai. The hijackers initially demanded a ransom of $6 million which was later reduced to $2.5 million.
Chairman of National Sea Fearer Association (NSFA) Abdul Gani said to media that all crew members are safe though the ship is yet to come out of danger zone. He also added that the ransom is paid but much details are not known at present.
Union Shipping minister T R Baalu said that the Stolt Valor would be escorted safely by Indian Navy.