The 36 crew of the Basque owned fishing boat the Alakrana hijacked by Somali pirates has arrived safely in the Seychelles. The vessel was released this week after the owners reportedly paid a three million euro ransom. Yesterday, a Spanish judge said he would investigate how the pirates were able to negotiate the money.
Joy, however, for the crew and their loved ones after the six week ordeal. When asked if he had been mistreated by the pirates, the captain of the Alakrana, Ricardo Balch, said:
‘‘Yes, especially me because they thought I was tougher than the others. But yes, we were all mistreated physically, tied up and worse.’‘
Negotiations were hampered by the capture of two Somali gunmen. The Alakrana’s hijackers had demanded their release as part of any deal. However, they are expected to be tried in Spain within the next two weeks and then extradited.
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