PACIFIC ISLAND SAILORS RELEASED BY SOMALI PIRATES

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Tuvalu, Fiji crewmembers aboard German cargo ship

HONOLULU (Pacific Islands Report, August 5, 2009) – The German Press Agency (DPA) reports that a cargo ship carrying a crew that includes12 sailors from Tuvalu has been released by pirates off the coast of Somali.

The pirates reportedly received a ransom of $1.2 million before freeing the Hansa Stavenger and its crew of 24 on Monday.

The ship belongs to German shipping company Leonhardt & Blumberg.

The DPA reports that the ship was now expected to arrive at Mombasa, Kenya on Thursday.

The ship's crew includes five Germans, three Russians, two Filipinos, two Ukrainians and 12 persons from the South Pacific nation of Tuvalu. Crewmembers are expected to be sent home to their respective countries, DPA reports.

[PIR editor’s note: News agency Agence France-Presse reported today that a Fijian, Wayne Suliana, was among the hostage crewmembers held by pirated for several months.]

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