Iran Denies Seizing Korean Ship and Holding Crew Hostage
By Sangmi Cha and Josh Smith SEOUL, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Iran denied on Tuesday it was using a South Korean ship and its crew as hostages, a day after...
The hijacked cargo ship M/V Rosalia D’Amato and her crew of 21 has been released from pirate control according to several sources. The 74,500 tonne Italian owned and flagged vessel was hijacked in April while on its way to Bandar Imam Khomeini, Iran from Paranagua, Brazil by a single skiff approximately 350NM South East of Salalah, Oman, in the Indian Ocean
Somalia Report says the vessel and her crew were released after the shipowners paid a ransom of a mere $600,000 to the pirates. Ransoms have been dropping significantly over the past few months says Somalia Report as pirates are becoming increasingly desperate to take what they can get from shipowners.
The M/V Rosalia D’Amato is currently being aided by an Italian Navy ship working with NATO’s anti-piracy operation.
Just a month ago, we were talking about $4 million ransoms as the going rate, or at least the starting point for negotiations. And with the falling success rate of pirates these days, low ransoms will bring a smaller ROI to the “businessmen” financing pirate operations. At the same time, pirates are becoming more and more aggressive towards hostages for higher (and faster) ransom payments from shipowners.
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