Pirates release Filitsa.
GREECE-owned bulk carrier Filitsa and its crew of 22 have been released by Somali pirates on payment of a ransom has demanded, according to a statement from the Greek coast guard.
The development was independently confirmed to Lloyd"s List by the International Maritime Bureau piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur.
The 1996-built, 23,709 dwt vessel was captured off the Seychelles on November 11 last year, while en route to South Africa with a cargo of chemicals on board.
The Lloyd"s Marine Intelligence Unit database lists Filitsa as associated with Order Shipping, a Piraeus-based outfit. The company has told the media that the three Greek officers and 19 Filipino ratings on its ship were safe and healthy, but refused to specify the amount of money handed over.
Agence France Presse, citing pirate sources, puts the ransom at $2-3m, in line with what is generally seen as the going rate.
Filitsa was at the time of writing heading towards the Kenyan port of Mombasa following its release.
Meanwhile, EU Navfor has given details of the use of UK-flagged car carrier Ocean Glory for pirates operational purposes, confirming a development suspected earlier by the IMB.
The 1994-built, 13,363 dwt vessel, taken on January 2, put to sea on Friday in order to rendezvous with suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean, according to a statement on the EU Navfor website.
The following day, it headed north and met hijacked dhow Faize Osami, remaining close by until pirates from Faize Osami transferred to Asian Glory, which thereafter departed for the Somali coast.
?Asian Glory has arrived at the Somali coast once more and is thought to be anchored off the port of Garacad, north of Hobyo,? EU Navfor added.
There were unconfirmed media reports over the weekend that the pirates have subjected the Bulgarian master of Asian Glory to a macabre mock execution ceremony. The ship"s crew of 25 includes eight Bulgarians as well as Romanians, Indians and Ukrainians.