Somali pirates said on Saturday that they had released two Spanish seafarers held hostage on the hijacked Italian-flagged Aframax ‘Savina Caylyn’, after receiving $5 mill in ransom.
They were originally from the Mozambique-flagged and Spanish-owned fishing vessel, seized by pirates last December with 24 crew near the Comoros Islands, according to Reuters.
However, there was no independent confirmation of their release thus far.
Pirates said a ransom payment was air dropped onto the hijacked D'Amato controlled tanker on Saturday.
"We have received $5 mill in ransom early this morning in exchange for the two Spanish men," a pirate who gave his name as Adam told Reuters from the ‘Savina Caylyn’, anchored near the town of Hobyo.
Spain's High Court sentenced two Somali pirates to 439 years in prison each for their part in the hijacking of a Spanish fishing boat in the Indian Ocean in 2009.
The ‘Savina Caylyn’ was carrying crude oil for Arcadia commodities trading co. It was sailing from the Bashayer Terminal in Sudan to Pasir Gudang in Malaysia when the incident occurred.
Elsewhere, the Philippine government reported that a Filipino seafarer had been found dead on board a tanker that was attacked by pirates off the coast of Benin.
The Marshall Islands flagged 13,106 dwt ‘Sea King’ was at anchor off the West African country when pirates attacked it on 11th May.
The armed pirates stole valuables from the chemical tanker, including personal effects from the 15 Filipino crew members on board.
The Philippine government was still conducting an investigation at the time of writing.
The country’s government also called for greater efforts to combat piracy on the high seas. Nearly 30% of the world’s seafarers are Filipino and many of them have been held hostage by pirates.