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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Somali Pirates: Ransom in "tank Ship" capture?

Are the Somali pirates going to collect a ransom for capturing a ship full of tanks?

Right under the watchful eyes of the U.S. Navy?

Maybe - see here:
An onshore associate of Somali pirates holding a Ukrainian ship with tanks and other weaponry on board said yesterday that an $8-million (R70-million) ransom deal was in the offing that could enable the vessel to be freed within days.

"A boat will carry the money from Djibouti, and the pirates are expected to release the ship in the coming two nights," said a business partner of the pirates, who identified himself only as Farah.

In the highest profile of scores of pirate attacks off Somalia this year, the Faina has been held since the end of September with 20 crew members on board. Its cargo includes 33 T-72 tanks, which were en route to Mombasa.
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Lieutenant Nathan Christensen, spokesperson for the US fifth fleet whose ships are monitoring Faina, could not confirm the state of ransom talks but said he hoped that the saga would end soon."Negotiations are between the pirates and the shipping company, we're not engaged," he said. "We are definitely concerned that the cargo may fall into the wrong hands - terrorists, violent extremists and the pirates themselves."
Photo captions: Upper-
Pirates transiting from MV Faina to shore while under observation by a U.S. Navy ship. The Belize-flagged cargo ship is owned and operated by "Kaalbye Shipping Ukraine" and is carrying a cargo of Ukrainian T-72 tanks and related equipment. The ship was attacked on Sept. 25 and forced to proceed to anchorage off the Somali Coast. U.S. 5th Fleet conducts maritime security operations to promote stability and regional economic prosperity. U.S. Navy photo by Mass communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky
Lower-
The ship’s crew aboard MV Faina stands on the deck following a U.S. Navy request to check on their health and welfare. The Belize-flagged cargo ship is owned and operated by "Kaalybe Shipping Ukraine" and is carrying a cargo of Ukrainian T-72 tanks and related equipment. The ship was attacked on Sept. 25 and forced to proceed to anchorage off the Somali Coast. U.S. 5th Fleet conducts maritime security operations to promote stability and regional economic prosperity. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky)

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