Huge ransom paid to Somali pirates

Largest ransom to date reportedly paid for release of Greek oil tanker.

    The pirates have started hijacking ships far
    away from the Somali coast [AFP]

    The European Union's anti-piracy force says the crew includes one Romanian, two Ukrainians, nine Greeks and 16 Filipinos.

    'Jackpot'

    Andrew Mwangura of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Program told journalists in December that the hijacking was a "jackpot to the pirates" because a tanker full of oil is worth millions of dollars.

    The Greek ship was the second largest oil tanker seized by Somali pirates.

    In 2008, pirates hijacked the Saudi-owned Sirius Star. They eventually released the ship for a reported $3m ransom.

    World powers, including the European Union, Nato and the United States are running naval patrols off the Somali coast in an effort to protect commercial shipping.

    In response, the pirates have extended their reach, attacking ships up to 1,800km from Somalia, deep in the Indian Ocean.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.