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17 Filipino Seamen Released by Somali Pirates
« on: December 10, 2008, 04:35:42 PM »
The Greek-owned bulk carrier “M/V Captain Stefanos” and its 19-man crew, 17 of them Filipinos, have been freed by their Somali captors on December 8, according to belated reports released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The vessel, hijacked in the Gulf of Aden last September 21, is reportedly on its way to Italy and from there proceed to Greece, the home ground of its shipping principals.

DFA Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Claro Cristobal said the Filipinos are “in good health” and their repatriation to Manila is underway.

With the release of the Stefanos, 91 Filipinos on board six different vessels hijacked off the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden at various times this year are still in the hands of the attackers, Cristobal said.

As a procedure, the DFA does not confirm the all-too known practice of the pirates to release their victims in exchange for multi-million dollar ransoms -- shouldered mainly by the principals.

source: PNA

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