Ransom about US$2.8 million for 1,066-TEU ships’ crew wanted by Somali pirates

By Piracy

The pirates of Somalia who hijacked the 1,066-TEU Malaysian-flagged Albedo with its 22 crew members, have agreed to release the crew for US$2.85 million spoken of a “expenses” lost in keeping the hostages and the men to guard them rather than a ransom. The payment`s deadline is April 20.
“The agreement was taken after night-long negotiations. We are not paying any ransom, just expenses. That’s why it took us nearly eighteen months to reach a deal,” chief negotiator Ahmed Chinoy, chairman of Citizens-Police Liaison Committee in Karachi told the Khaleej Times in Dubai after the deal was made.“The pirates had reached a point of fatigue,” he told. “They were looking for an escape and the payment of part costs was the only way.” He demanded $4 million but agreed to $2.85 million.
The negotiations have been held via video link and satellite phone between Mr Chinoy and Dubai-based Somali businessmen the go-between to the pirates. The Malaysian owner had authorised Chinoy to represent him. The 1-st session lasted for 4 hours and the talks resumed for another hour after a break.
“The pirates wanted us to pay $100 per day per crew member for the 100 people (22 hostages and some 75 Somalis taking care them and the vessel involved during the captivity period. But we finally agreed on $50 per day per person. They wanted us to make the payment by March 31, but we finally agreed for the April 20 deadline,” Mr Chinoy said.
The pirates will give the conditions of the agreement in writing with the Somali tribal elders signing it as witnesses to assure that it is implemented, he said. The pirates will also keep the vessel ready to sail after the money is paid. The ship is located 60 nautical miles off Somali coast. Now we have to raise the funds in a short period.
The Malaysian owner is expected to pay one-third of the amount. Still, we need some $2 million,” Mr Chinoy said. He appealed to the United Arab Emirates government to consider financial maintenance so that the crew can unite with their families.
The 10,859-ton Albedo’s 22 crewmen include seven Pakistanis, seven Sri Lankans, five Bangladeshis, two Indians and one Iranian.
Nareman Jawaid, daughter of the ship’s captain Jawaid Saleem Khan, is a consultant in Dubai. She met Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad, Pakistan’s Minister of Ports and Shipping Babar Ghauri and Mr Chinoy in Dubai on Tuesday. The governor ensured her of full moral support.
“I really hope that people are going to support the cause of the crew members and they will be released soon. I can’t wait to see my dad,” Ms Jawaid told Khaleej Times after receiving the news. The ship was hijacked 293 miles west of the Maldives on the Indian Ocean while heading to Mombasa port from Jebel Ali port in Dubai laden with containers. The ship had 23 crew members at the time of the attack, but 1 Indian crew member died in the captivity.