Maran Centaurus: Greek Frigate watched ransom
Some pirates argue that internal rules were broken when a small plane dropped part of the bumper ransom for the Maran Centaurus, a supertanker a third of a kilometer long and laden with two million barrels of crude oil for America. A group of pirates showed up in two speedboats just before a $5.5 million ransom was to be dropped. Two helicopters from the international anti-piracy force chased away the attackers seeking a cut of the ransom after the pirates onboard called frantically for help. "It's really remarkable: You have the criminals calling on the police to come and help them," After the helicopters chased away the attackers, two planes arrived and the huge bundle of cash was pushed out the back of one with a parachute attached. Most ransoms for ships are now delivered by parachute, although brokers also have used bank transfers (total ransom may have been USD 7 million) or speedboats.
The crude oil onboard, estimated to be worth some $150 million at the time it was hijacked, is so flammable that smoking is forbidden on deck.
The vessel is being escorted to Durban by the Greek Frigate Salamis (1 Sikorsky S-70B-6 Aegean Hawk)