Sunday, January 11, 2009

Arrrrgghhh, the irony......

I have been following with amusement, the news items relating to the Somalian pirates. Over 130 attacks occured last year off the Somali coast, netting pirates big dollars. An interview i saw last year was in a word, amusing. It involved one of the pirates, he justified his life as a pirate, explaining that he came from the poorest of the poor, his family had nothing. By holding oil tankers to ransom in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, he was able to utilise ransom monies paid, to feed and clothe his family. The pirate stressed that he and his pirate buddies, were not out to hurt or injure others, they just wanted money, if it was paid, then the tankers and crews would be returned safely and untouched. In November 2008, a tanker was captured off the coast of East Africa. The tanker belongs to the shipping arm of Saudi Aramco, and was carrying millions and millions of dollars of oil. After seizing the tanker, the pirates asked for their largest ransom yet.......25million US. Negotiations continued for 6 weeks, and eventually the pirates agreed to $3million US, this occured last week. So you can imagine my surprise when this morning i read this...............................

SIX Somalian pirates have drowned on leaving freed Saudi-owned supertanker Sirius Star nearly two months after it was captured off the east African coast, their leader said today.
“Six of our boys perished at the sea while coming from the released Saudi supertanker” Mohamed Said said.
Their boat had capsized after freeing the vessel and its crew, he said via telephone from Harardhere, 300km north of Mogadishu.
Four other pirates had also gone missing after the kidnapping ended, he said.
“The small boat that was carrying those killed and eight who survived was overloaded and at high speed as we are told by the survivors; they were afraid of a chase from outsiders (foreign navies of the Combined Maritime Forces) who invaded Somalia waters,” he said.
Part of the $US300,000 ($420,600) ransom paid to free the tanker had also been on the boat and was now missing.
Haradhere resident Mohamud Aden said the capsize was an accident.
“The pirates were full of joy and partially frightened by the presence of foreign war machines and overspeeding,” he said. “That was a tragedy for the pirates.”
The 330m Sirius Star, owned by the shipping arm of oil giant Saudi Aramco, was seized far off the east African coast on November 15, in what was the pirates' most daring attack and largest catch to date.
It was still moored off Harardhere today.
The amount of the ransom paid for the ship's release was not known. Pirates had earlier said days after seizing the tanker they wanted $US25 million ($35 millionAU) for its release.
Sources close to the negotiations said $US3 million ($4 million) were delivered to the pirate group onshore on Thursday. A dispute briefly erupted between the pirates over how the ransom money should be distributed.

I almost feel sorry for them!


Blogger Lee said...

I hope they were given a cheque and not cash. Mind you 25mill in bullion would hinder their ship too.

8:24 PM  

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