Somali pirate claims Georgia paid ransom for release of sailors
Georgia, Tbilisi, Jan.10 / Trend, N. Kirtskhalia /
A ransom of $3 million was paid by Georgia to release 15 Georgian and three Turkish sailors from captivity according to the Internet portal somaliareport.com. According to the portal, the crew of the ship flying the flag of Malta was released on Jan.8 after payment of ransom.
The portal reports with reference to one of the pirates in the Harardhere city, where the sailors were held captive for one year and 4 months. The sailors were captivated Mohammad Issa clan, while the talks on ransom were held by their mediator Luuan.
Georgian Maritime Transport Administration refuted the ransom allegations.
It should be recalled that on Sept. 8, 2010, Somali pirates hijacked "Oilb G" tanker flying the flag of Malta in the Gulf of Aden. The vessel left Alexandria for India. There were 13 Georgian and 3 Turkish citizens on its board. Release of the captives was postponed several times.
Initially the pirates demanded $9 million from the Greek ship owner, but later lowered their demands to a million, but the bankrupt owner refused to negotiate, and the Interdepartmental Commission of the Georgian government then was involved in negotiations.
The talks were held under Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's control.