Hijacked Turkish commercial ship Horizon 1, which was seized by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden on July 8, was freed.
A hijacked Turkish commercial ship which was seized by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden on July 8 was freed Monday afternoon.
The Turkish-flagged Horizon 1, with 23 Turkish crew members on board, was en route to Jordan from Saudi Arabia when it was hijacked. The pirates had demanded a sizeable ransom to release the ship and hostages.
Nilgün Yamaner, a lawyer for Horizon Shipping, told that they were able to retake the ship from the Somali pirates after a prolonged period of negotiations. The pirates demanded $20 million for the release of the vessel and its 23-man Turkish crew, a company lawyer said on Sept. 8.
Yamaner said she is unable to disclose the amount of money paid to the pirates as ransom because it may create additional problems for other seized ships. Yamaner, however, said the amount of the ransom is much higher than previously stated, hinting at her earlier statement. She also avoided answering the question on how the ransom was delivered to the pirates.
The Horizon Shipping Company will hold a press conference on Tuesday to officially announce the release of the ship from the pirates. The crew of the ship will be transferred to Saudi Arabia's Port of Aqaba and then flown to Turkey. A replacement crew will take command of the ship and return it to Turkey.