Hostage from Royal Grace DEAD - claim pirates

By Piracy

Pirate gangs from Somalia are well known for their creative pressure tactics used to encourage ship owners into paying ransoms as fast as possible. While pirates might be patient (the MV ICEBERG has been catched for more than 2 years) a decline in hijack success rates has resulted in more brutal actions towards hostages, or at least threats of that nature.
This week the Master of the Royal Grace, a United Arab Emirates - which is owned chemical products tanker hijacked by pirates on March 2-nd of this year, emailed the owners stating that 1 of the crewmembers had been killed, but did not give a reason of death. Sources which are close to the captors of the ship said Somalia Report that the allegedly has died crewmember is from Indian national, but diplomatic sources have stated that he is Nigerian.
This is very possible that the statemet is simply pirate propaganda, and an attempt to pressure the ship owners into speeding up their negotiations. Pirates have not pruposed any further evidence of the alleged death.
Pirate's gang is currently demanding $14 million for the release of the ship, which is going slowly to reduce as negotiations develop. Initially, pirates were demanding $25 million.
Pirates kidnapped the MT ROYAL GRACE and hijaked its 22 crew members (comprised of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nigerian nationals) off the Omani coast, while the ship was on her maiden voyage to Nigeria. The vessel was in ballast at the time.
It isn't the only such claim this week. Somalia Report has received reports from a variety of sources on Wednesday afternoon where 1 crewmember of Taiwanese-owned, Omani-flagged fishing ship NAHAM 3 had died. Pirates did not give a cause for death.
FV NAHAM 3 was attacked and boarded by pirates while underway off Somalia on March 26th. Pirates kidnapped the fishing boat along with her fifteen multinational crew members, comprised of Taiwanese, Filipinos, Indonesians, Chinese and Vietnamese nationals.