Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Saudi owner of Algeria-flagged cargo ship
MV Blida, which was captured and held by Somali pirates in 2011, has
admitted to paying $2.6 million in ransom to secure the crew's release,
AFP reported Tuesday (May 14th).
The ship and its crew of 17 Algerians, six Ukrainians, two Filipinos,
one Jordanian and one Indonesian were captured January 1, 2011 and held
until November 2011.
"The Algerian government refused to negotiate or pay a ransom," said owner Ghaith Rashad Feraoun.
Algeria has a policy of not negotiating with hostage-takers and has
asked the United Nations General Assembly to criminalise ransom payments
The crew members said they suffered "psychological torture" during
their captivity and were deprived of food and drinking water and subject
to death threats while they watched their captors getting drunk.