Somali pirates who have held a German-owned vessel and its 15-member crew for more than one month released the ship on Tuesday after receiving a ransom payment, a local mayor told Puntland-based Radio Garowe.
Abdullahi Said O’Yusuf, mayor of the coastal village of Eyl, said that all 15 crew members of MV Lehmann Timber were safely released after another ship brought ransom payment totaling US$750,000.
The exchange was made at the high seas and the ship’s owners and the pirates had « direct communication, » Mayor O’Yusuf told Radio Garowe from his office in Eyl.
Currently, there are no hijacked ships that are being held captive near the coast of Eyl, according to the mayor.
But he said that there were « emerging reports » that another ship was hijacked Monday in the Gulf of Aden, but he did not have details.
Somalia’s pirates have netted millions of dollars in ransom payments so far this year, as the pirates exploit weak governance in the region of Puntland, which has become a major hub for piracy in recent years