Somali pirates have released the Greek-owned bulk carrier Free Goddess and its 21 Filipino crew members after holding the vessel for more than eight months, the secretary general of the Seafarers Union of Kenya said on Friday.
Andrew Mwangura, whose role involves contact with ships sailing the Indian Ocean and catering for crews’ welfare, said a ransom was dropped onto the vessel from the air on October 10.
“The Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk carrier Free Goddess is now free and she is heading to Salalah, Oman, for … fuel, fresh water and a crew change,” Mwangura told Reuters.
Pirates said the ship had been held at Garad, a haven in Puntland that they use.
“We took $5.7 million ransom after holding the ship for months,” a pirate in Garad called Mohamed told Reuters.
The amount of the ransom could not immediately be verified independently.
Mwangura is a former head of The East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme, an independent organization for the welfare of seafarers and a piracy monitoring group.