Sunday, November 30, 2008

Owners Of Pirated Ukrainian Freighter Reach Deal On Ransom

In this photo released by the U.S. Navy on Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, the crew of the hijacked merchant vessel MV Faina stand on the deck after a U.S. Navy request to check on their health and welfare, at sea off the coast of Somalia Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008. The commander of a multinational naval force off Somalia's coast says a shipping corridor patrolled by warships is helping protect merchant vessels from a surge in pirate attacks. Photo from

From The International Herald Tribune:

NAIROBI: The saga over the pirated Ukrainian freighter stuffed with weapons may be coming to an end.

Andrew Mwangura, head of a Kenyan maritime association, said the Somali pirates who captured the freighter more than two months ago have reached an agreement with the ship's owners on a ransom, though he would not reveal the amount. The only thing left to figure out, he said, is how to get the ransom to the pirates and regain the ship - no simple feat with a half-dozen American and European vessels circling the freighter and a band of jumpy pirates aboard.

"There is some good news," Mwangura said Sunday. "Both sides have agreed. They are now working on modalities of transferring the money."

Mwangura, who has helped several times before in the delicate negotiations over hijacked ships and has a network of seamen in Kenya and Somalia, said he expected the situation to be resolved peacefully in the coming days.

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My Comment: This is only going to encourage more hijackings.

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