Somalia – Pirates Release Hostages After Ransom Payment
30 April 2013
Adado — Pirates holding 6 seamen in central Somalia for more than 2 years released the men after being paid an undisclosed ransom on Tuesday, Garowe Online reports.
The Danish Embassy confirmed that 4 Filipinos and 2 Danes were released after local sources say that an unknown ransom was paid. Danish media said that the 6 men were collected by Danish commandos after a ransom payment was given.
Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal said that the men were safely aboard a Danish Navy frigate operating off the coast of Somalia.
The M/V Leopard was reportedly carrying weapons on board when the Danish vessel was attacked by pirates in January 2011. The pirates failed to board the ship however took the crew as hostages and transported them to Hobyo in Mudug region.
Piracy took a dip in 2012 with the least amount of successful hijackings in the past 4 years.
On Tuesday, the Contact Group on Piracy met in New York “for a plenary meeting”, according to the group’s press release. On Thursday, the Contact Group will hold a symposium on “Creating Economic Opportunities for Somalis”.
Maritime analysts who spoke to GO suggest that Somalia’s depleted maritime industry – ravaged by rampant illegal fishing and Somalia’s economic breakdown – needs to recover if piracy is to cease.
Puntland Maritime Police Forces (PMPF) arrested over 78 fishermen and seized 5 illegal fishing boats off the coast of Puntland earlier this month.