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Somali pirates freed the Georgian sailors2012-01-09 15:25
15 Georgian citizens and three Turks by birth were released from captivity by Somali pirates and will soon return home. This was reported by "Echo Moskvy" with reference to the maritime agency of Georgia. The sailors were part of the staff of the ship "Olib", which was boarded by the pirates in September 2010.
Initially the pirates demanded a ransom of $ 15 million, then the amount was reduced to $ 9 million. However, it was not reported whether they had received the money.
Now the freed sailors are at the vessel, controlled by the Georgian authorities, which is sailing to one of the safest ports in Kenya. Upon the completion of the formal immigration procedures the sailors will be able to return home. It was informed that this procedure has already begun, Lenta.ru reported.
Negotiations for the release of sailors were conducted by senior Georgian officials, and the whole process was under the direct supervision of President Mikhail Saakashvili. The size of the ransom was not announced, as well as whether it was payed at all.
The ship "Olib", owned by a Greek company and under the Maltese flag was captured by pirates in Gulf of Aden in early September 2010. The shipowner appealed to the pirates with a proposal to take away the ship itself as a ransom, but the Somalis refused, Diversant.ru reported.