Somali pirates released the Indian-flagged Savina al-Salaam and its 16 all-Indian crew without ransom on Thursday, as owners and pirates confirmed to Somalia Report.
A representative of the owners who lives in Puntland, Liibaan Dheere, spoke with Somalia Report.
“The pirates released the boat late on Thursday at 4:30pm. The captain of the boat contacted me and told me that the pirates had left the boat,” he told Somalia Report by phone. “There was no ransom paid. We didn’t even hear from the pirates when they hijacked the boat, we were looking for the boat and apparently the pirates abandoned it, thank Allah,” Liibaan added.
It’s unclear why the pirates abandoned the boat, but it seems that they were not expecting a ship carrying livestock.
“The boat was carrying 3,620 heads of livestock, but it appears the pirates thought that it was carrying only goods – so they thought to use it to mount attacks from – but they didn’t want to deal with the livestock, which I think is why the pirates released this boat,” Liibaan said.
The Savina al-Salaam is now on course for Oman.
A pirate explained that the hijackers found the Savina too heavy to use as a mothership for launching attacks.
“This group is from the Bari region and they are still looking for a boat to use as a mothership,” Faysal, a pirate in the Bari region, told Somalia Report. Pirates also told Somalia Report that the Savina al-Salam had been anchored in the Qandalla area of Bari region late on Tuesday, and released late on Thursday.
The Savina al-Salaam was the first commercial boat to be hijacked by pirates in 2012, and it was held for two days. In addition to the crew, there boat was also carrying four Somali passengers (three women and one man) who held Oman visas.
Somali pirates regularly hijack commercial and fishing boats to use as mothership, particularly those pirates based in Bari region. The clans represented in the Bargaal, Qandalla areas along the coast are mostly from the Ali Saleeban, Siwaaqroon, Cisman Mohamoud, Ali Jibraahiil (all sub-clans of Majeerteen), as well as the Warsangali and Dishiishe (both of the Darood clan).
The pirates are currently holding at least five fishing and commercial boats from Iran, Pakistan, India, Yemen and Somalia which they use as motherships to launch attacks on bigger freighters.
Republished with permission, (c) 2012 Somalia Report