Sunday, February 8, 2009

Somali Pirates Freed Ukraine Weapons Ship for 3.2 Million

Via (2/5/09) -

Somali pirates who seized a Ukrainian vessel with controversial cargo in September have released the ship after cashing in a ransom payment, three days after a pirate kingpin was killed in Puntland, Radio Garowe reports.

The MV Faina was being held hostage off the coast of central Somalia for more than four months, making it the longest period of time a ship has been held hostage by the pirates.

A source close the ship's owners said a US$3.2 million ransom payment was given to the pirates, who had previously demanded a whopping US$25 million ransom payment when they first seized the ship.

A pirate source in the coastal town of Harardhere, central Somalia, told Radio Garowe that most armed men have gotten off the MV Faina and that the remaining few pirates would get off later Wednesday.

The MV Faina's cargo, which includes 33 Soviet-era tanks, has been the source of diplomatic and media speculation after Kenyan authorities announced that the ship was destined for the Kenyan port of Mombassa.

But other reports said the ship was ultimately destined for South Sudan, a semi-independent territory preparing for independence from Khartoum.


The US Navy watched the whole thing go down....and decided not to act, on the fear of endangering 147 other seamen still held hostage on other hijacked ships.

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