KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 (KUNA) -- The second Malaysian ship, MT Bunga Melati Dua, hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden on August 19, has been freed with the crew reportedly safe, according to newspaper reports Tuesday.
The good news came two days after another tanker, MT Bunga Melati Lima was released by Somali pirates, almost a month after it was hijacked on August 29.
The release also brought tremendous relief and cheer for the families of the 65 Malaysian hostages.
It was reported that a ransom of about USD two million was paid for each vessel.
The newspaper said both vessels, owned by the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC), were now heading to Djibouti (eastern Africa).
MT Bunga Melati Dua, laden with palm oil had a crew of 29 Malaysian and 10 Filipinos (one was killed by a stray bullet) while MT Bunga Melati Lima, laden with petrochemicals had a crew of 36 Malaysian and five Filipino.
As a safety measure, the Malaysian government dispatched two warships, the KD Lekiu and KD Inderapura and an offshore patrol vessel, the KD Pahang to escort MISC ships sailing in the pirates infested Gulf of Aden. (end) mak.rk KUNA 301014 Sep 08NNNN