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Somali Pirates Release Hijacked Oil Tanker and Crew after 10 Months

In May 2012 Somali pirates hijacked an oil tanker owned by Dynacom Tankers Management. It was one of the last successful pirate attacks against a large tanker, as combined efforts from international navies have reduced the number of attacks by Somalis around the Horn of Africa.

After 10 months the MT Smyrni and its 26 crew members have been released, minus the one million barrels of crude originally held in its cargo tanks, following the payment of a ransom.

Isse Abdulahi, one of the pirates, told Reuters that they “took $9.5 million in ransom money and got off from the crude tanker on Friday night.”

Related article: From Theft To Piracy To Flaring To...Hope?

Tracking data shows that the MT Smyrni left the north of Somalia on Saturday, travelled down to central Somalia, before veering off and heading away from the coast on a bearing towards India, and into open waters.

In the past few days Somali pirates also released a chemical tanker which had been taken last year along with its 20 crew members.

As increased naval efforts battle piracy in Somalia, Nigeria has grown to become a hotspot for piracy, with a surge in attacks recorded over the past year or so. Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Shell (RDSA-GB) have stated that security problems have turned Nigeria into one of the most expensive destinations in which to operate oil production facilities.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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