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Vietnam firm pays millions to free ship

09-27-2011 09:24 BJT

A Vietnamese shipping firm paid more than $2 million in ransom to free crewmen held for months by Somali pirates, a company executive said on Monday after the sailors arrived home.

All 24 Vietnamese crew members landed on Friday at Hanoi's Noi Bai international airport, Nguyen Truong Son, a deputy general director of Hoang Son Ltd Co, told AFP.

"We had to pay the pirates $2.6 million. The money was from our own company," said Son, whose firm has an office in the northern port city of Haiphong.

The European Union's anti-piracy naval force reported on January 20 that the Hoang Son Sun, a 22,835-ton bulk carrier, was believed to have been captured about 520 nautical miles (963 kilometers) southeast of Muscat.

The ship was Mongolian-flagged but Vietnamese-owned.

"In general, the health of all 24 returned Vietnamese sailors is good," Son said.

"Some have said they were beaten by the pirates but we are going to verify what they said," he added.

Piracy has flourished in war-torn Somalia, outwitting international efforts including constant patrols by warships and tough sentencing of convicted pirates.

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Global Times

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