Ukrainian ship freed by Somali pirates arrives in Kenyan port
The Faina, a Ukrainian cargo ship released by Somali pirates last week, has arrived in the Kenyan port of Mombasa, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president's office said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported.
"The Ukrainian ship, the Faina, which was released by Somali pirates, has arrived in the Kenyan port of Mombasa," said Andrei Goncharuk, the head of a Ukrainian delegation meeting the ship.
The crew of 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and one Latvian are all said to be in good health. The body of the Russian captain who died of a heart attack soon after the hijacking will be sent home to St. Petersburg by the Russian Embassy in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
The Ukrainian crewmembers are set to return home on Friday morning.
The Faina was hijacked off the Horn of Africa on September 25, 2008, and released on February 5 after the pirates received a $3.2 million ransom.
The pirates initially demanded a $35 million ransom for the vessel, which was carrying 33 T-72 tanks and other heavy weaponry to be delivered to Kenya.
According to the UN, Somali pirates carried out at least 120 attacks on ships in 2008, resulting in a yield of around $150 million.Around 20 warships from the navies of at least 10 countries, including Russia, are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia. The East African country, ravaged by years of civil war, has no functioning government.