Chaff Launch

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Somali pirates let one go

Reported here:
One of four Taiwanese fishing boats hijacked last year off the Somalia coast has been set free, Taiwan's government says...

..."Under the rescue efforts by related government units and ship owners, Chung Yi 218 has safely set sail from Somali waters and was on its way home," Taiwan's Fisheries Administration said in a statement.

The Chung Yi 218 and two other ships were seized separately on 16 August 2005.

A fourth ship, the Feng Rong, was hijacked in November.

"The crews on the other three ships are safe and we will continue the rescue efforts," the Taiwanese statement said.
Some of the Somali pirates have justified their ship seizures by asserting that foreign fishing vessels are poaching in Somali waters.

UPDATE: A possible explanation for the release here:
The owners of the Taiwanese vessels are now willing to pay the US$500,000 ransom demanded by Somali rebels who are holding 12 Filipino crewmembers hostage, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

In a letter to Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno, DFA officer-in-charge Pedro Chan said the Philippine Embassy in Nairobi reported that Taiwanese owners of the shipping vessels seized in Somalia in October 2005 have agreed to pay the ransom for the release of the vessels and their crew.

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