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Somalia Jails Brits & Americans Over Ransom Cash June 20, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Piracy & Maritime Security, Risk & Risk Management.
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If the issue of piracy was not problematic enough, Somalia has just jailed six foreigners including three Britons and an American for bringing millions of dollars into Somalia to pay ransoms.  The Somali courts sentenced the Brit and American to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine for carrying $3.6 million into Somalia on charges of illegally carrying money into the country to pay the ransoms and landing in Mogadishu without the correct papers.  “We sentenced the two pilots, who are American and British nationals, to fifteen years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine each,” the Mogadishu court’s judge Hashi Elmi told Reuters late on Saturday.  As one can imagine the aircraft and cash are now the property of Somalia’s government.  This situation further highlights the challenges that shipping companies face with Somali piracy.  It is clear from this situation that the “government” of Somalia is implicitly supporting the piracy if not explicitly supporting.

According to figures from the International Maritime Bureau, pirates took a record 1,181 hostages in 2010, seizing 53 ships, all but four taken by Somali pirates. “More people were taken hostage at sea in 2010 than in any year since records began,” the organisation’s annual report said.

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