Good Company

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Somali Pirates to Free WFP Ship & Crew

Reported here, a deal between the pirates and the WFP:
“An agreement has been reached for the release of the ship, crew and food in the next three days,” WFP spokeswoman Rene McGuffin said in Nairobi.

In the most high-profile of a recent spree of hijackings off lawless Somalia, the militiamen seized the MV Semlow on June 27 as it headed for the northern port of Bossaso carrying 850 tonnes of rice given by Japan and Germany for post-tsunami aid.

Armed pirates use speedboats to attack ships in the area, and even targeted a laden oil tanker in one of nine incidents in recent weeks reported by the International Maritime Bureau.

In the WFP case, the pirates initially demanded a $500,000 ransom for the eight Kenyan crew members, Sri Lankan captain and Tanzanian engineer. They then reduced that to demand the rice.

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