19 Jul 2009

Ship freed after ransom paid to pirates

5:43 am on 19 July 2009

Somali pirates have released a German-owned cargo ship held for nearly three months and its crew of 11 Romanians.

The pirates say a ransom of $US1.8 million dollars was delivered in a tugboat.

The MV Victoria - was captured on 5 May in the Gulf of Aden while en route to the port of Jeddah.

Pirates attacked more than 130 merchant ships off the Somali coast last year.

Attacks are increasing despite dozens of international naval ships patrolling the waters off the Somali coast, in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.