The MV Samho Dream, a Korean VLCC, and its crew of five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos, was ransomed for $9.5 million dollars. It had by hijacked by Somali pirates last April. The MV Golden Blessing, a Singaporean chemical tanker, with its 23 Chinese crew, was also ransomed for a report $2.8 million.
Somali pirates receive record ransom for ships’ released
Andrew Mwangura, co-ordinator of the East African Seafarers Assistance Programme in Mombasa, told Reuters that the ransom would be the highest paid out to pirates since they started hijacking ships in recent years.
The BBC’s Kevin Mwachiro in Nairobi says the size of the payment is likely to change the rules of engagement when it comes to securing the release of ships held by Somali pirates. They are currently holding at least 25 vessels.
According to a recent report by the International Maritime Bureau, a maritime watchdog, ship hijackings hit a five-year high in the first nine months of 2010, with Somali pirates responsible for the majority.
Thanks to Alaric Bond for passing along the article