Twenty-four Vietnamese sailors are safe at home after an eight-month ordeal as prisoners of Somali pirates.
Officials and analysts said the cargo ship MV Hoang Son Sun and its crew were released last week after a Vietnamese state-owned shipping company paid the pirates a ransom of more than $2 million. The sailors were flown home to Hanoi and arrived on Friday.
Various shipping sources said the ship’s owners paid a ransom in the millions of dollars to secure the release of the Mongolian-flagged ship, which was seized by pirates in January. The French news agency Monday quoted the company’s deputy general director saying the ransom was $2.6 million. The ship is believed to be headed for a port in Oman.
Somali-based pirates have seized dozens of ships in the Indian Ocean, demanding ransoms reported to range as high as $5 million. Ship owners are generally reluctant to discuss details of the ransoms for fear of encouraging more hijackings.
Money ahead of people: this is one point on which piracy and the maritime industry often converge.