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Friday, May 27, 2011

Britons held over pirates' ransom cash


By Fred Attewill 
Associated Newspapers

May 27, 2011  Dalkayaga@gmail.com

THREE Britons have been arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle £2.2million in ransom cash into Somalia to secure the release of a hijacked vessel from pirates.


They were detained alongside an American and two Kenyans following a raid on two private planes at the airport in the war-torn country's capital Mogadishu.

It is believed one aircraft flew into Aden Abdulle airport from Nairobi in neighbouring Kenya, while the other arrived from the Seychelles.

The group picked up the ransom money in the Seychelles before flying to Somalia to pay off the pirates, an unnamed official told Kenya's Daily Nation paper. It is claimed they planned to fly on to Kenya to make a second payment to pirates based in Nairobi.

'However, the deal went sour after those involved discovered that the planes had more money than what the pirates were to be paid, resulting in the planes being detained,' said the source.

Two of the six arrested on Tuesday are pilots.

Somalia's transitional government is trying to crack down on such payments to reduce piracy around the shattered country's coast.

There are thought to be about 1,500 pirates operating in the region.





 

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