Sunday, September 28, 2008

Somalia: Okay, how about $20 million? say pirates.

Pirates hanging around the MV Faina. They should be hanging from the mizzen mast.

Ransom for MV FAINA decreased to $20 million. Funny how the amount went down when the pirates and their ship full of tank booty suddenly found themselves surrounded by three warships.

Somali pirates who hijacked a Ukrainian freighter carrying Kenyan military weapons defiantly demanded 20 million dollars in ransom despite being surrounded by three foreign warships on Sunday.

The spokesman for the pirates, contacted by AFP via satellite telephone, confirmed that they were surrounded by three foreign war vessels off Somalia's central coast and said the ship's crew was "safe and not harmed."

"What we are awaiting eagerly is the 20 million dollars (13.7 million euros), nothing less, nothing more," Sugule Ali said. On Saturday, figures ranging between five and 35 million dollars had been put forward.

Why are they so confident? According to the Marine Log, the pirates claim to have damning paperwork from the ship that will reveal that these tanks weren't going to Kenya as claimed by the Russians. No they were going to the SUDAN. Do they have that proof?

Now Kenya's Capital Radio quotes Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Program as saying the hijackers claim to be in possession of confidential documents showing that the arms aboard the Faina were actually destined for Southern Sudan.

The pirates are threatening to unleash a "damning report" unless they are paid a ransom.

It sounds like conditions are deteriorating on the ship, too. Although this is being denied by the official spokespirate. One of the hostages has reportedly died of natural causes although this has not been independently confirmed yet. Oh, and one more thing...


Got that? They are just humble and green ECO-Warriors who are protecting their fragile environment and have the full backing of their "community." Their Islamic community...

Ali said of the ransom demand: "We are not pirates, we are just protecting our natural marine resources. Some countries want to make our waters a dumping site for the industry of the West. We are supported by the local community."

It's still not clear who is doing the actual negotiating.

The Kenyan government said it would not be responsible for the cargo until it was unloaded. This means that the Ukrainian side must negotiate the release of the crew, the ship and the weaponry.

I still say, a mizzen mast hanging is too good for them...