DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A negotiator says seven crew members of a Malaysian-owned ship held by Somali pirates (pictured) since late 2010 are heading home to Pakistan under a partial ransom deal that still leaves 15 merchant seamen held.
Negotiator Ahem Chinky says Pakistani families and groups raised $1.1 million for the release of the crew members from the MV Albino. But that fell short of the $2.85 million sought by the pirates under a deal reached earlier this year by Dubai-based intermediaries.
The freed crew passed through Dubai en route to Pakistan on Thursday.
Watch BBC’s Simon Reeve with a Somali Pirate here:
The remaining crew still held by pirates include seven Sri Lankans, six Bangladeshis, one Iranian, and one Indian.
The Kenya-bound ship was hijacked in November 2010 in the Gulf of Aden.