Somali pirates freed a chemical tanker and its 23 member Filipino crew Tuesday after holding them hostage for more than five months, the shipped owner and officials said.
The ship company was extremely pleased with the result, Captain Dexter Custodio, spokesman for Sagana Shipping Inc. said in a statement.
They are no longer in the hands of the pirates. I am supper happy. That is the only thing we have been waiting for, said Doris Deseo, wife of Carlo Deseo, the ship's 31-year-old third mate.
The release came a day after the pirates freed a food aid ship MV Sea Horse after receiving $100,000 ransom form Somali businessmen.
The company declined to say whether it paid any ransom for Tuesday's release.
Securing the safe release of the vessel and crew was difficult and protracted. Family members of the crew have told The Associated Press that the Somali pirates earlier demanded $5 million but later the amount had been reduced to about $2.2 million last week.
Custodio said he could not comment on whether ransom had been paid, and referred reporters to the company’s crisis management team.
Pirates are still holding nearly 100 Filipino crew members in about seven ships.