EU: Somali pirates release Greek supertanker

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The spokesman for the EU’s anti-piracy force says Somali pirates have released a Greek supertanker and its crew of 28 after the delivery of a ransom.

Cmdr. John Harbour says pirates left the Greek-flagged Maran Centaurus Monday morning. The European Union Naval Force is monitoring the ship as it leaves Somali waters.

The ship was hijacked Nov. 29 about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) off the Somali coast. It was carrying crude oil from Saudi Arabia destined for the United States.

A Somali middleman, who helped negotiate for the release of the ship, says pirates collected $5.5 million Sunday afternoon and left the ship Monday morning. The figure could not be immediately confirmed.

The middleman spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals.