Pakistani hostages released by Somali pirates

Nasir Mahmood

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - Karachi—Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad announced Somali pirates have freed the hostages. Sindh Governor made this announcement in the Governor’s House. All 22 hostages, among them four Pakistanis, were set freed on Monday as ransom amount of more than 2 million US dollars was dispatched to Somali pirates through a Fokker aircraft.

The 17,300 dead weight merchant vessel with a cargo of cement bags from Karachi, Pakistan, destined for Eritrea, was taken over by the pirates in the Gulf of Aden on August 2, 2010. Its crew comprised 11 Egyptians, six Indians, four Pakistanis including Captain Syed Wasi Hassan and one Sri Lankan. Pakistanis raised $2.1 million for the release of the MV Suez and its 22-member crew comprising Egyptians, Indians, Pakistanis and a Sri Lankan, who were in the custody of Somali pirates for the past 10 months.

Pakistan’s contribution was handed over to Red Sea Navigation Co. of Port Tawfeeq in Egypt, which was in contact with the pirates. “We are giving this money to Red Sea Navigation as humanitarian aid to help the crew,” Burney said. Burney returned Karachi today after completion of all necessary arrangements for release of the hostages. He thanked the Governor of Sindh for help in completion of the arrangements. He flew to Egypt many times and met the Egyptian operators of the hijacked vessel.

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