Philippine Sea

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Will Somali pirates release another ship?

Reported here:
A ship hijacked by Somali pirates last month could be released before Friday.

Owners of the mv Torgelow said although negotiations were going on, there were indications that the ship could by freed by end of the week.

"Although we don't have a firm commitment, we have communication that if all goes well, we will have the ship and crew free before Friday," Motaku Shipping Agency managing director Karim Kudrati said yesterday.

"The release is expected to coincide with Eid," said Mr Kudrati, referring to this year's Eid Ul Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, which will be celebrated on Friday.

The International Maritime Board (IMB), in its latest report says the ship is anchored 100 nautical miles north of Haradhere, northern Somalia.

"I have been talking to the negotiators and the cargo owner and they say they are trying their best to ensure that the ship and crew are freed," he said.

A negotiator left Mogadishu to Haradhere last week to join the team seeking the ship's release.

Mr Kudrati maintains that he did not know the pirates' demands but suspected they were after a ransom.

The ship was hijacked at Marka on her way to deliver supplies to another ship - the mv Semlow - that had a mechanical problem. It was also carrying 200 tonnes of general cargo for a Somali client.
Why bother capturing the vessel if you aren't going to go after a ransom?

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