FM warmly welcomes news on release of Indonesian sailors by pirates

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Foreign Affairs Ministry through its spokesman Michael Tene expressed a warm welcome to the news about the release of 20 Indonesian sailors on board of MV Sinar Kudus which has been detained by Somali pirates since March 16.

"We are pleased to hear about the release and that the sailors are in a good condition," said the spokesman adding that the Indonesian government always care for the condition of its citizens including the sailors.

Earlier in a press conference, Vice President Director of PT. Samudera Indonesia, said the 20 Indonesian crew members of MV Sinar Kurdus have been released by the Somali pirates.

He said that Sinar Kudus had left the Somali waters at 1.10 pm local time or 5.10 Western Indonesia Time (WIB) on Sunday.

"The 20 Indonesian crew members are reported to be in good health and in a safe condition. The crew members have fully taken control of the ship," David said.

The 20 MV Sinar Kudus crew members were released after being held hostage for 46 days. They had been released following negotiations.

MV Sinar Kudus was hijacked by Somali pirates on March 16, 2011, about 512 kilometers north of East Socotra in the Somali waters with a crew of 31, including 20 Indonesians.

The ship which has a dead weight of 8,911 tons was pirated when on its way to deliver ferro nickel to Rotterdam.

The pirates said they had freed the ship after the ransom had been dropped on them from the air.

"We received the 4.5 million US dollars ransom in the small hours of Sunday. We have left the ship and Sinar Kudus was set to start sailing," one of the pirates who told Reuters and whose name was Geney from a coastal village of El Dhanane," said.(*)