x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Crew of Ajman ship hijacked by pirates have been freed

MV Orana and its crew were seized on December 2, 2010.

DUBAI // A Sri Lankan seaman on an Ajman-based ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates two years ago has been freed, according to his country's government.

MV Orana, owned by Kassab Inter Shipping LLC, included a Sri Lankan named KAS Soorasena.

He has now been handed to the Sri Lankan High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya, according to an announcement by Sri Lanka's ministry of external affairs on Friday. There is no information as to whether the other 19 crew members have been released.

"The ministry ... was in constant contact with the owner of the vessel with a view of securing the release of Mr Soorasena while keeping his family briefed about the developments on a regular basis," said a statement.

"During a recent visit of president Mahinda Rajapaksa to Dubai to attend the World Energy Forum, the minister of external affairs, Prof GL Peiris, urged the shipping company to make early arrangements to secure the release of Mr Soorasena."

The ministry is now making arrangements for Mr Soorasena to be repatriated. No one from the shipping company was available for comment yesterday.

nhanif@thenational.ae