To return to State in two days

Eleven Indians, including two Keralites, of a cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates 11 months ago were released on Wednesday.

Babu, father of Roji V. John, second officer trainee in the ship and a native of Pathanamthitta, said the authorities of Rack International company, which owns the ship, handed over the ransom amount on Tuesday.

Mr. Babu, who had gone to Dubai about a month back and returned on March 7, said: “today we received the phone call from John and e-mail from the authorities about his release. They will reach Kenya and from there to Mumbai within a couple of days.”

26-member crew

Mr. John was part of the 26-member crew of mv Rack Africana which was hijacked on April 10, 2010 while on its way to Morali in Africa.

Mr. John had joined the ship as part of his B.Sc. Nautical Science course two years ago.

The pirates, numbering about 25, were demanding a ransom of $7 million.

“Negotiations were going on all these days and they might have reduced the amount a little bit,” Mr. Babu said.

Chartered flight

“Yesterday the authorities who had flown in a chartered flight dropped the bundle of notes covered with a plastic bag in the sea as per the instructions of pirates who arrived at the spot in a speed boat.

“It takes minimum seven to eight hours for them to count and divide the booty,” Mr. Babu said.

To accompany ship

The pirates would accompany the ship carrying the crew members up to the border where the ship of Indian Navy is anchored with a view to protecting them from the attack of other persons, he said.

The crew also includes another Malayali V. Vishnu, native of Thiruvananthapuram. – PTI

  • Company authorities hand over ransom money
  • Ship was hijacked 11 months ago