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Last week Somalia Report filed two reports citing several first hand pirate sources who provided descriptions of the the poor health of the Danish hostages and that a ransom payment for the hijacked MV Dover had been delivered.
Confusion over Ransom
Initial reports indicated that a ransom of $3M had been paid to free the MV Dover and her crew. The 7 Danish hostages being held aboard the vessel, however, would not be ransomed, but moved to and held on shore. Our inquiry into why the Dover had not moved from its location off Hurdiyo were answered by a pirate spokesman who said some of the pirates expected a ransom of $7M which created division and confusion.
We also contacted EU NAVFOR sources who reported that to the best of their knowledge that no ransom was dropped. Understandably, the owner of the Dover refused to comment.
Somalia Report also checked with staff at Wilson Airport in Nairobi and Laikipia airstrip, both in Kenya, from where air-dropped ransoms usually depart, and found that no ransom flights had left in the past week. Two offshore supply ships normally used for ransom drops, refueling and crew change, did leave the port of Mombasa during that period, and could possibly have delivered ransom money, but Somalia Report was unable to confirm if either of these ships carried the cash.
Today, the chairman of a Somalia-based anti-piracy movement Somalia Information Data for Pirates Organization, stated that a ransom had been paid, saying the leaders of the group holding the MV Dover, Ali Swahli and Abdi Said Jamaa Hukun, had provided this information.
“They told me that the pirates asked for $7 million but the company agreed to give them $3 million,” he told Somalia Report. “Some of the pirates agreed to take the $3 million, while others refused to accept it. This has further created a misunderstanding and the ship was retained by the pirates due to this problem.”
Last week, Farah Joseph, one of the pirates holding the seven Danes on board the MV Dover, told Somalia Report that Birgit Marie Johansen and her teenage daughter, Naja, were in poor health, and that they would most likely be moved to land upon the release of the Greek-owned MV Dover. The pirates refused our request to send a doctor to their aid.
Somalia Report will continue to monitor the situation.