Saudi ship owner pays pirates $ 2.6 m ransom

By Piracy

An Algerian cargo vessel was kept hidden by pirates for 40 weeks, its Saudi owner admitted paying $2.6m ransom hostages to be freed. in November 2011. MV Blida had onboard 17 Algerians, 6 Ukrainians, 2 Filipinos, 1 Jordanian and 1 Indonesian. The ship was attacked by heavily armed pirates. Pirates released 2 hostages because of health problems in October same year. The rest of the crew members kept hostages were released after a bag full of money was sent to the pirates with a plane.
The gang wanted $2.6m ransom. Algerian authorities refused to negotiate. The owner, Ghaith Rashad Feraoun, explained the situation:
"I thought of the seafarers. I had no interest in freeing the bulk carrier and cement on board, as it was 100 percent insured and the insurance companies were going to reimburse me,"
"The pirates demanded a ransom of $ 2.6 million to free the seafarers and the ship. The Algerian government refused to negotiate or pay a ransom,” owner Ghaith Rashad Feraoun told Arabic daily Ennahar. “I thought of the seafarers. I had no interest in freeing the bulk carrier and cement on board, as it was 100 percent insured and the insurance companies were going to reimburse me," he announced.
"I negotiated through a man called Abu Ali or Abu Ahmed. After agreeing with the pirates on the amount, I paid a one-off payment in cash.
"I withdrew the money from Lebanon, because it’s the only country where you can get that amount without encountering obstacles," Feraoun added.
"We took a small plane and threw the money onto the ship,” he informed, adding that “Algeria didn’t pay a single dinar."
Algeria like many countries do not negotiate with criminals who take hostages and even wanted from the UN General Assembly to punish those who pay ransom to pirates.