Somali pirates have released a chemical tanker and its crew of 28 North Koreans after an unspecified ransom was paid, European Union naval forces said Tuesday.
The Virgin Islands-owned MV Theresa VIII was taken by pirates several hundred kilometres north west of the Seychelles on November 17 last year, DPA reported.
The ship left the pirate stronghold of Harardhere after a ransom was paid early Thursday and was heading out to sea, the EU's anti-piracy force EU NAVFOR Somalia said in a statement on its website.
Some reports suggested the ransom payment was as high as 3 million dollars.
Piracy is rife off Somalia, which has not had a functioning central government since 1991.
Young men take to the seas in search of multimillion-dollar ransoms despite the presence of international warships, which were dispatched to the Gulf of Aden in 2008 to combat a rise in piracy.
Attacks are expected to rise in the coming months due to calmer weather.