Divining the News (DTN)

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Somalia pirates release ship, flee with cash Faina Vadim Alperin

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We’ll never know the truth about the cargo or destination. A mysterious affair, rumoured to be destined to Dafur, and also rumours of banned weapons. Itar Tass has often offered featured the news on the Faina, perhaps because there was a listed cargo of Soviet weapons.

latimes

Diplomats in the region previously have said the Faina’s cargo was destined for southern Sudan, something the autonomous region has denied. Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua repeated his country’s claim to the cargo Thursday. –more–

pirates

HO, AFP/Getty Images
Somali pirates have released this arms-laden Ukrainian cargo ship that they hijacked in late September.

Bandits off the Somali coast make off with a $3.2-million ransom as the four-month standoff over a Ukrainian vessel ends.
Associated Press February 6, 2009

Nairobi, Kenya — Somali pirates released a Ukrainian freighter carrying heavy arms Thursday and sped away with a $3.2-million ransom as U.S. Navy ships watched, ending a four-month standoff that focused world attention on piracy off Somalia’s lawless coast.The Navy said it couldn’t seize the bandits for fear of endangering 147 seamen held hostage on other hijacked ships.

Complete coverage of Somali pirates

Pirate Aden Abdi Omar said by satellite phone from the central Somali town of Harardhere that more than two dozen pirates escaped on motorboats with the ransom, which had been airdropped to them a day earlier.
The seizure of the Faina, loaded with Soviet-era tanks and other heavy weapons, was one of the most brazen in a surge of pirate attacks off Somalia. Vessels from the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet quickly surrounded the cargo ship after it was seized Sept. 25 to make sure the arms on board did not get into the hands of Somali insurgents believed to have links to Al Qaeda.

The hijacking brought an unprecedented naval response. Warships from countries including the U.S., India, Britain, France, Germany, China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea have joined the anti-piracy campaign, though attacks continue. Turkey’s government announced plans Thursday to send naval ships to join the mission. …

The 5th Fleet closely monitored the Faina and its 20 surviving crew members throughout the standoff after the captain died of a heart attack, and the U.S. sent medical workers to the ship Thursday once the pirates left.

Late Thursday, the Faina’s new captain, Viktor Nikolsky, said his ship was under the protection of the Navy and would head to Mombasa, Kenya.

Negotiations for the release of the ship and its crew dragged on for months because of the interference of unidentified “third parties,” according to a statement by the ship owner, Vadim Alperin, posted on his spokesman’s website. No explanation was given.

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A person involved in the negotiations said a plane carrying the ransom left Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, Wednesday afternoon and dropped it on the Faina. The man spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. –more–

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Pirates free Faina ship for record ransom of 3.2mln dollars

06.02.2009, 02.02

NAIROBI, February 6 (Itar-Tass) — Somali pirates finally freed the Ukrainian Faina ship with a cargo of weapons and tanks for a record ransom of 3.2 million dollars on Thursday.

Over four months of captivity of the crew are over, however the final destination of the weapons is still unclear. The Faina is carrying a shipment of 33 T-72 tanks, grenade launchers, ammunition and other armaments, which Ukraine said were intended for Kenya. …

“Ransom money count is a usual practice of the bandits. It can last a whole day. The money is divided between groups and put into bags. Given the fact that it is the largest ever ransom, some 100 pirates have flocked there. They represent various gangs, so money counting might take time,” Voitenko said.

The shipowner is Odessa-based businessman, citizen of Israel Vadim Alperin. The ransom was paid on Wednesday evening.

Voitenko said US sailors from a warship of the 5th Fleet inspected pirates’ boats. “They did not prevent the pirates from taking away the money, but did not let them smuggle out arms.” –more–

More info at:

https://morris108.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/real-owner-of-the-hijacked-faina-ship-an-israeli-citizen-vadim-alperin/

Written by morris

February 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Piracy, Somalia

Tagged with , ,

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