I started to see this “letter” supposedly written by the leader of a Somali Pirate Action Group (PAG) pop up on a few of my regular slapstick humor websites and immediately thought to myself, “there is absolutely no freakin’ way this is real.”
Then again, I thought, I’ve covered enough piracy news over the years here on gCaptain to know that with Somali pirates, anything, and I mean anything, is possible. After all, I don’t own any ships, and fortunately have never received a phone call telling me that one of them has been hijacked for millions in ransom by some third world thugs.
That of course, got me wondering…
If you’re a shipowner whose ship was just hijacked, how is the first contact made? Do the pirates just give you a call with their demands? Does your respective Navy break the news to you? Do you read about it on gCaptain and think to yourself, “sh#t, that’s my ship”?
I had never really thought about it, so I did some research.
Sure enough, a quick google search and I’m on this Reuters article (and the source of the alleged letter) and believe it or not, this is no joke.
Reuters has obtained the following letter, on a nice letterhead of course, from “Jamal”, leader of “Jamal’s Pirate Action Group” in Somalia who successfully hijacked an unidentified tanker at some point during the surge in piracy that has occurred off the coast of Somali over the last 5 years. The letter was allegedly presented to the owner of a hijacked oil tanker and the owner’s insurer after the ship was taken. Due to the commercial sensitivities, the names of the insurer and ship owner were redacted from the document, as was the size of the ransom request.
Without further ado, here is the letter that Jamal sent to the shipowner:
So now you know…