Somali pirates receive $2 mln for British-owned ship
Sun May 10, 2009
BOSASSO, Somalia, May 10 (Reuters) - Somali pirates said on Sunday they had received a $2-million ransom for the release of a British-owned vessel and its 16 Bulgarian crew.
Pirate attacks, fuelled by large ransoms, have continued almost unabated despite the presence of an armada of foreign warships patrolling the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.
"We got a $2 million ransom for the release of the British-owned ship," pirate Mohamed Saleh, from the Somali coastal village of Eyl, told Reuters on Sunday.
"A helicopter brought the money."
The 32,000-tonne bulker, Malaspina Castle, was released on Saturday after being captured more than a month ago. Its Italian operator paid the ransom, according to Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry, which gave no details on the amount.
Analysts say the only way to stop bandits on the high seas is to resolve Somalia's political crisis on land where pirates profit from lawlessness as Islamist-led rebels fight government troops and African Union peacekeepers. (Reporting by Abdiqani Hassan; Writing by Jack Kimball; Editing by Jon Hemming)