The supertanker at the centre of the world’s biggest ever ship hijacking has reportedly been freed.
The Sirius Star and its crew of 25 had been held since November by pirates off the coast off Somalia. The tanker was fully-laden with millions of euros worth of crude oil. There had been previous reports the pirates were demanding 25 million US dollars from the Saudi owners of the ship. Some reports today say a three-million dollar ransom was handed over, but the shipping company is making no comment. More than a dozen other boats are still being held by Somali pirates. They operate with almost complete impunity in a lawless country with no effective central government. The waters around Somalia are now being patrolled by warships from numerous countries, including the US, China and European nations.