Nine Georgian sailors who have been kidnapped by pirates from a ship flying the Panamese flag in Nigeria have been released and will return to their homeland in several days.
Tamar Ioseliani, head of the Maritime Transport Agency of Georgia, said that a special flight will be carried out to bring the sailors back home.
Ioseliani also mentioned that the release of the abducted sailors in 21 days is an unprecedented fact. It usually takes 30-40 days for pirates to release kidnapped sailors.
We congratulate our sailors on their release. Also, we want to thank their family members who have been exemplary calm during this period. Intensive work is underway to obtain permits and organize the transportation of our sailors from Nigeria to Georgia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Maritime Transport Agency are involved in the process. Everything will be done in order to bring our sailors back home very soon”, said Ioseliani.
The lives and health of the sailors are not in danger, though they are receiving routine medical assistance.
RFE/RL reports that the ship is owned by a Greek company. As usual, pirates demand a ransom, though, the details of the negotiation will not be made public.
Four other Georgian sailors, who managed to escape from the pirates, have already returned to Georgia and have been placed under quarantine.