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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Somalia: Handsome Ransom Paid, Pirates Release Dutch Ship

Headline: Dutch Ship Owner Pays Pirates U.S. $1,250,000 Ransom:
Pirates who hijacked a Dutch ship and its crew near Bargal district have released the ship after the company that owns the ship paid US$ 1, 250,000 ransom.

Eyl district commissioner Said Aw Yusuf told Radio Garowe that pirates had received the ransom payment in the ocean not far from Ely beach.

"After releasing the ship and its crew the pirates left for Dhanaane and Ilig coastal areas near Eyl. Another German owned is still in the hands of pirates along Eyl coast, " said Eyl district commissioner.

The Puntland Minister of State of Security Jama Hersi Farah deplored the decision to pay pirates ransom to secure the release of the ship. Puntland administration will not give ransom to pirates, he said.

The German owned ship was hijacked one month ago. The payment of ransom is believed to encourage pirates to be more daring in their piracy business that affect security along Somalia's long coast despite assurances from the international community that pirates will be dealt with harshly.
More here:
A cargo ship seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia in late May has been released, with its Russian and Filipino crew members all safe and well, the ship's operators said Wednesday.

"Reider Shipping and Scan-Trans are pleased to confirm that the master and crew on board the Amiya Scan, held off the coast of Somalia by hijackers since May 25, have assumed command of the vessel," the two firms said.

"All crew members are well and unharmed," they added in a statement. "Families of the four Russian and five Philippine crew members have all been informed."

The Amiya Scan -- which was carrying a disassembled oil platform when it was captured in the Gulf of Aden -- now is "under way in the direction of Suez," although it might be another week "before the crew reach a safe port".

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