NEW DELHI, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Somali pirates have freed the Indian vessel along with 16 crew on board, which was hijacked off Somalian coast Saturday, said the Mumbai-based Director General of Shipping on Sunday.
The vessel, MSV Al Rafiquei, was hijacked 10:30 Indian time (0500 GMT Saturday) but was released eight hours later, said the directorate of the Indian shipping authority.
Before releasing them, the pirates beat up the crew and took away their mobile phones, petrol and diesel, it said.
The vessel was sailing from Dubai to Mogadishu when it was hijacked. It was carrying rice, refined oil, wheat and general cargo.