Monday, 12 Jan, 2009 Current Events

Body of Somali Pirate Washed Ashore with Ransom Money


Shortly after receiving ransom for releasing a Saudi Arabia tanker, MV Sirius Star, one of the Somali pirates was found dead. The body was washed ashore with $153,000 in cash found in pirate's pocket. According to the latest reports, five Somali pirates drowned after receiving $3 million for releasing the tanker. The pirates' small boat turned over in rough seas near the coast of Somalia.

When pirates attempted to return to the shore with the money their boat flipped; three men managed to survive, losing, however, their share of money.

The U.S. navy unveiled last week the images of a package that was dropped onto the deck of the Saudi Arabia tanker. It is believed that the package represented the ransom for the pirates. According to Omar Abdi Hassan, a local citizen, the body of one of the pirates was found on Sunday, January 11, near Haradhere, a coastal town in Somalia, with $153,000 stored in a plastic bag in the man's pocket.

According to Graeme Gibbon Brookes, one of the employees of Dryad Maritime Intelligence Service, a UK firm, the incident was less likely to scare other pirates and stop future assaults. On the contrary, he says that the loss of ransom means that pirates would be motivated more to get the next ransom in. In addition, there are a lot of Somali citizens who are lining up to be pirates.

It is worth mentioning that the Saudi Arabia tanker was captured by Somali pirates in November 2008 while it was en-route to the United States from Saudi Arabia. Sirius Star is believed to be the largest vessel ever captured by pirates. In 2007 pirates assaulted 111 ships near the coastline of Somalia.

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