“We thank Saudi officials, owners and top executives of the Jeddah-based International Bunkering Company (IBCO), which owns and operates the tanker, for securing the release of the vessel and its Sri Lankan crew,”  Sri Lankan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ahmed A. Jawad said on Wednesday. “We are very pleased that this ugly incident came to a happy ending.”
Jawad also called on the international community to join hands in fighting sea piracy.
Speaking on this occasion, Munir A. Gondal, IBCO’s general manager, who gave an overview of the whole hijacking drama, said that all safety equipment were removed by the pirates from the tanker after it was seized.
“All belongings, even clothes and pillows, were looted,” said the IBCO general manager while referring to the severe physical injuries inflicted on the crew.
He, however, said that he was happy to see the vessel finally docked in Jeddah.
Gondal refused to provide the exact amount of ransom paid to the pirates on the grounds of “sensitivity and official complexities.”
He pointed out that the IBCO had purchased another bunker barge from Japan with more or less the same specifications. The company, he said, is expecting the delivery of this new tanker by the end of next month.
The IBCO chief said the company would take maximum precautions, when the new tanker starts sailing from Japan to Jeddah along the same route taken by Al-Nisr Al-Saudi when it was hijacked. The pirates released the vessel and the crew early this month.
Asked about the condition of crew members, Gondal only said that two Sri Lankan crew members would continue to serve on the vessel.

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