MT Liquid Velvet Released by Pirates

The Liquid Velvet, a 6,000 gross ton chemical tanker owned by Elmira Tankers.

Somali pirates have released the M/T Liquid Velvet and its crew of 21 Filipino nationals after reportedly collecting $4 million in ransom.  The vessel was officially released on Tuesday, June 5

The Marshall Islands-flagged chemical tanker was hijacked on October 31, 2011 while transiting the Gulf of Aden from Suez to India.  During the attack, eight armed pirates aboard a skiff were able to overpower the unarmed “security advisor” hired by the owners of the vessel, Athens-based Elmira Tankers, to protect the vessel.

The vessel again made headlines in January when it was sent out as a mothership to launch attacks on other vessels.  Pirates originally demanded $8 million for the vessel.

Somali pirates currently hold eight vessels including the Iceberg 1, which has been held for over 2 years, according to data from the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence,