Bulgaria Anticipates Tuesday Return of Kidnapped Sailors

Diplomacy | June 12, 2010, Saturday // 14:52|  views

The Asian Glory cargo ship with 8 Bulgarian crew onboard, which was released by the Somali pirates Friday, is sailing to Oman. Photo by vesseltracking.com

The Bulgarian sailors on board of the ship “Asian Glory,” which was released Friday by Somali pirates, are expected to arrive in Bulgaria Tuesday next week.

The information was offered Saturday by Prodan Radanov, Bulgarian manager of the UK-based Zodiac company, operator of the ship, and its representative in the Black Sea city of Varna.

Radnov further reported the 8 sailors have already been able to speak with family members on the phone and are currently on their way to Oman.

On Friday, Somali pirates released the hijacked UK-owned ship “Asian Glory”, whose crew included 8 Bulgarian sailors. The news was confirmed by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, by Zodiac, and the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

"Asian Glory" was hijacked on January 1, 2010, almost 1 000 km off the coast of Somalia, with 10 Ukrainians, 8 Bulgarians, 5 Indians, and 2 Romanians on board. It was loaded with 2 405 cars from South Korean shipped from Singapore to Saudi Arabia.

After the release of the eight Bulgarian sailors from “Asian Glory,” and the recent release of the St. James Park tanker, where 5 Bulgarians were held in captivity for more than four months, only the 15-member, all Bulgarian crew of the Bulgarian-flagged ship MV Panega remain in the hands of the Somali pirates.

Reports of EUNAVFOR Somalia over the past few months said the pirates might have used the Asian Glory as a mother ship for hijacking operations because the vessel was spotted several times in the open seas off the Somali coast.

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Tags: somali pirates, Asian Glory, sailors, hijack, hijacked, release, Zodiac Maritime


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