Arctic Sea: sold says Voitenko

Arctic Sea was sold this week to an unknown buyer for $ 2.3 million. Previously, the operator of the vessel was a Finnish company Solchart Management, Victor Matveyev,[Victor Matveev] Oy Solchart Management AB, Helsinki Managing director,CEO reportedly now in Switzerland previously said that after the vessel's return to home port after the abduction and release, Arctic Sea would be operated in the Far East. Ekaterina Matveeva, Office Manager, reportedly in Moscow. The sale was reported by former chief editor of the Maritime Bulletin - Sovfracht Mikhail Voitenko.

Arctic Sea: Victor gone to ground?

Viktor Matvejev
Hans Tanner

The Finnish criminal police could not obtain further information from Victor Matveyev, the sopposed beneficial owner of Arctic Sea via a Malta-based company, Arctic Sea Ltd, since he in December 2009 fled from Finland to Switzerland. The Maltese-flagged vessel with a 15-member Russian crew disappeared in the Atlantic on July 24 while carrying a $2-million shipment of timber from Finland to Algeria. It was eventually intercepted by the Russian Navy off West Africa on August 16. Eight alleged hijackers from Estonia, Latvia and Russia were arrested. Admiral Tarmo Kouts, the former head of the Estonian armed forces, the EU rapporteur on piracy suggested Russia was transporting guided missiles to Iran on the ship. As by a "weapons mafia" involving top Russian officials. The Russians seemed to treat Arctic Sea as a pirate ship, rather than a ship captured by pirates. Rather than being released, the crew was detained in Moscow for weeks."I think that if this journey had been successful, Russia could have ended up in a huge international scandal "I think that for this reason the order was given from the top to start this huge naval operation. We caught the boat to make sure we didn't end up in a nasty situation."

Viktor Matvejev may contact Hans Tanner of the Swiss ABC Maritime a sometime contractor for Aquaship Ltd, a Latvian shipowner organized in 1990 with the end of the Soviet era, a suggested financier of Victor. ABC also operates a fleet of river and sea tugs and barges working predominantly in the Caspian sea. ABC also has extensive operations in West Africa where Arctic Sea was found, such as this beauty.

Egon RusanovMeanwhile, Egon Rusanov, a lawyer for Dmitry Savins, has appealed again, seeking protection through Europe's human rights court for inhumane treatment after detainment in August 2009. Who he?


Navios Apollon: Did Chinese watch ransom drop?

A Chinese naval ship escorted ( missile frigate "Ma'anshan"?) MT Navios Apollon,hijacked off the Somali coast and ransomed February 27, to safe waters. (NATO Codename JIANGKAI I, The 054 Frigate resembles the French La Fayette Frigate externally. The two ships also have similar size and displacement.

Navios Apollon: Frangou's NMH ransoms bulker

A ransom drop was successfully made for the release of the NMH owned Panama flagged Bulk Carrier, the MV NAVIOS APOLLON on the morning of 27 February. The MV NAVIOS APOLLON was hijacked on the 28 of December approximately 200 nautical miles East of the Seychelles.The NAVIOS APOLLON (Deadweight 52,073 tonnes) which has a crew of 19 (1 Greek and 18 Philippine) was destined for Thailand when hijacked.

Angeliki Frangou leads Navios Maritime Holdings Inc (NMH). The fleet currently stands at 16 ultrahandymaxes and panamaxes, totaling 964,000dwt with an average age of about five years. In addition to the owned vessels, Navios has eight ships on long term charters extending out as far as 2012, with another nine vessels slated to enter the Navios charter fleet. Ms Frangou born into the Frangos Greek shipping family, her father's Greek-based dry bulk company, is Good Faith Shipping.

Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. announced that it has agreed to sell Navios Apollon, a 2000 built Ultra-Handymax vessel with a capacity of 52,073 dwt to Navios Maritime Partners L.P. for $32.0 million in cash. Navios Apollon has been chartered out at a net rate of $23,700 per day for the remaining period of three years expiring in November 2012. The vessel is expected to be delivered to Navios Partners before November 2009. Navios Holdings intends to use the proceeds from the sale of this vessel for operating purposes, such as repayment of indebtedness or reinvestment in vessels. The buzz expected the company to negotiate a safe release of the vessel and crew and for any damages and losses to be covered by insurance.


Pramoni: EU watches as ransom paid to pirates

An EU warship {Brandenburg class frigate FGS Emden?} watched the chemical tanker Pramoni as a ransom for the release of the vessel and its crew of 24,was delivered by parachute. The vessel has set a course away from the coast.as pirates have left 'after the money has been counted' All the crew are safe.

The ship, managed by Platou Finance in Oslo was seized in the Gulf of Aden while en route to India. The DH fully stainless steel ’Pramoni’ (19,990dwt-built 2008) was acquired by Platou K/S for 52.75 $m, including 12 years BBC to Berlian Laju at 15,100$/day, with purchase option. Singapore-registered chemical tanker, M.T. PRAMONI, is owned by Singapore-based GBLT Shipmanagement Pte. RS Platou Finance is an independent company within the Platou Group utilising the full potential of having close contact with shipbrokers, ship-owners, ship managers, bankers, lawyers and consultants worldwide. Oslo, Singapore, Aberdeen, London, Houston, Moscow, Lagos, Copenhagen, Shanghai, Istanbul, Geneva and Rio de Janeiro.


Balsa-62: Panamanian-flag bulker crew blabs

Dowa's Antilles II

ITF protests at Dowa Line policies were staged simultaneously in Japan and the Caribbean,on February 6, 2010. The unions say they have tried to engage the bulker in a dialogue for the past eighteen months and the company response is a pending Court action against All-Japan Seamen’s Union in Japan. The Japanese corporation Hiong Guan Navegacion Japan Co. Ltd., that operates the commercial cargo ship M/V Balsa-62, was sentenced to three years probation and $1.75 million in penalties, February 24, 2009. The crew members told U.S. Coast Guard, Tampa, that the M/V Balsa-62 had been unlawfully discharging oily waste, with a bypass pipe, which is referred to as a "magic pipe,". In December 2008, the court sentenced Francisco Bagatela to three years probation and a $1,500 fine and Robert Racho to one year probation and a $1,000 fine. Dowa Line is a Japanese company with a fleet of 24 bulk and cargo vessels, most of which fly the Panamanian flag and operate in the Caribbean and to North and South America. Its vessels are managed by Hiong Guan Navegacion Co Ltd, a company registered at the same address as Dowa in Japan. Dowa vessels are crewed by Filipino seafarers. Although Japanese-owned ships registered under flags of convenience often are union organized, Dowa Line does not have ITF contracts on them.


Barakaale 1: Cambodia/DPR Korea - flagged

The Cambodia/DPR Korea - flagged MV Barakaale 1,imo 8508747, said to be flying Tanzania-flag and reportedly owned by ISMAN ABDI IGUEH, came under attack whilst transiting through the region and the timely response by the Master in alerting vessels in the region by bridge-to-bridge radio communication enabled ships from CTF 151 to come to its aid.

A SH-60B Seahawk helicopter, from USS Farragut, was immediately dispatched to the MV Barakaale and subsequently gave chase to the skiff which withdrew its attack.

During the pirate attack on the MV Barakaale 1, the crew adopted defensive maneuvers which resulted in a suspected pirate falling overboard whilst attempting to board the vessel. The skiff rescued their accomplice and attempted to board MV Barakaale a second time, but they were again unsuccessful.

The helicopter intervened and the skiff attempted to speed away. After repeated warnings to the skiff, warning shots were fired by the helicopter across the bow of the skiff, which resulted in its coming to a stop. A boarding team from USS Farragut boarded the vessel and the eight suspected pirates were taken aboard the Farragut.


Rhea: 26-year old, Panamanian-flagged, refloated

A salvage team finally managed to refloat the cargo ship that ran aground and settled in shallow water on the Rinconcillo Beach after dragging anchor in strong winds near the city of Algeciras, Spain. A line broke in the first high-tide attempt to float the ship, and operations were put on pause as the tide lowered. The 26-year old ship had stopped at an anchorage off the port to take on water and was empty at the time of the incident.
Panamanian-flagged Rhea is managed by Athens-based Blue Ocean Maritime and owned by Aliente Trading, which shares the same address.


Malta to train somalis

Malta is participating in anti-piracy operations through the deployment of an AFM officer in the EU operational command centre in Northwood, near London. Maltese-flagged ships had been among vessels that were taken over by pirates and the majority of migrants who come to Malta do so because of the state of instability and anarchy in Somalia, Maltese personnel may also help train the Somali law and order forces. The training of the Somali personnel would be an EU operation. The training would take place in Uganda. The intention is to train up to 2,000 Somali troops, which will complement other training missions and bring the total number of better-trained Somali soldiers to 6,000.

The government is now confined to a few small blocks of the capital, Arabic: مقديشو‎ Maqadīshū; , with an African Union force from Uganda and Barundi protecting critical sites.


Arctic Sea: seizure by a millionaire?

Arctic Sea docked in France

The brief is that this 'hijacking' was part of a cover meant to save the Kremlin embarrassment. The fall guy seems to be a Latvian of Russian descent Dmitri Savino Mālpils.

Dmitry Savin, or Dmitri Savino Mālpils (Dmitrijs Savins on the passport), attributed the organization of the corporation owning the phantom vessel Arctic Sea to The Latvian Aquaship Ltd . Dmitris Savins, a resident of Latvia, was the chairman of a tanker company Pakri Tankers - a subsidiary of a larger Estonian company Alexela Logistics. Savin, apparently, is still one of the owners and other firms Juhtimise Partnerid, also associated with Alexela Logistics. Moreover, a couple of years ago the Savin firm rented office at the former coordinator of intelligence in Estonia Eerik-Niylesa Cross.

Savin has told investigators that he was hired by Vladimir Yarovoi, a Russian he described as a wealthy businessman. According to Savin, Yarovoi was setting up an environmental group called GreenHouse and wanted him to monitor waste dumping in the Baltic. Savin says he was promised ¤4,000 a month. Extensive efforts to find Yarovoi have failed. It remains unclear if he exists.“Dmitry was always well paid, said Savin’s wife Gunta. “He used to get about 4000 euros a month and his work was always linked to the sea. Recently he was constantly looking for a job. I have no idea how he ended up on the Arctic Sea but it’s absurd to think that he could have taken a ship hostage. He’s very responsible.”

The last position of the 34 y.o. Dmitry Savin was a freight operator in Tallinn, Estonia. Before that, between 2002 and 2005, he lived in the Netherlands with his wife. He had a certificate of captain’s mate and appropriate education; all of his jobs were connected with the sea and well paid, according to his spouse Gunta. The local police officer told the paper that Dmitry liked show off with good cars. The economic crisis, family matters and the fate of business of his dying mother made him last year to come home from Estonia. Dmitry’s stepfather inherited a bakery, and Dmitry got a network of three stores. However, he could not stay long at home as he has always been interested in the sea, according to Gunta. She says she does not know how Dmitry appeared on board of the Arctic Sea. She only knew that her husband was seeking a new job through the Internet. On July 18, he and Vitaly left Latvia in a rented bus, but Dmitry’s wife says she has no knowledge of any details. The husband called her very shortly on August 17, when the cargo vessel was followed by the Russian warship. Dmitry was not calling from his own telephone and he said he did not know what would be their further fate.

Dmitrijs Savins or Dmitri Savin, who’s suspected in hijacking cargo vessel Arctic Sea is tightly connected with businessman Heiti Hääl, Äripaev reports. Savin was chairperson of Pakri Tankers in 2005-2008. It belonged to Alexela Logistics and is now being liquidated. He still is one of the owners of Juhtimise Partnerid, which has a holding in Alexela Logistics. “Savin came to work through contest from a big European shipping company. The company freighted big oil chemistry tankers and ended operating in the end of last year,” Hääl said. Pakri Tankers was transporting liquid chemistry and oil products. The company offered work to 9 people, in 2008 Savin got salary of more than EEK 1 mln. However, the company had loss of EEK 21 mln in 2008 and the loss amounted to EEK 39 mln in 2008. Mismanagement or money problems appeared when liquidating Pakri Tankers. “We got plenty of questions during liquidating the company and we haven’t got answers,” Hääl said. He added that former employer has pretension against Savin, but they haven’t been able to contact him during past 7 months. He didn’t say how big is the amount and what it’s for.

On August 2, 2009, the purported owner of Arctic Sea, Victor Matveev says he was contacted on a satellite phone by a man speaking fluent English, whose voice was altered with a scrambler.“It was clear I was speaking to a criminal,” he recalled. “I didn’t link it to the Arctic Sea and slammed the phone down. We soon realised it had come from the Arctic Sea .” Later, Solchart’s operations manager phoned Matveev. The same man had called, he said, to say he would shoot a crew member if Matveev refused to speak to him. In the next call the man is said to have threatened Matveev’s daughter, Katya, who works in Solchart’s Helsinki office.He claimed the ship had been taken over by a group of 25 “soldiers” and was in the hands of a big organisation out to demonstrate its power. He also warned that he had accomplices monitoring Matveev’s family. The alleged Finnish shipowner immediately sent them to Moscow.

The caller is believed to have been Dmitry Savin, one of the alleged pirates. An ethnic Russian from Latvia , Savin, 34, who was known on board as “Alpha”, had been employed until early this year by a large Estonian corporation as head of an oil and chemicals shipping venture. With him on board was Vitaly Lepin, his half-brother, who previously worked as a cook. “We had no reason to question Savin’s background and he did his job properly until eight months ago when we began to have several questions of a financial nature,” said a spokesman for his former employer. “We wound up the company he ran and decided against starting a criminal investigation against him because it was too time-consuming.”

Matveev and the man thought to be Savin spoke dozens of times during the crisis, but both 'Russians' always stuck to English.During another call, a recording of which is thought now to be with investigators – the Arctic Sea caller demanded a 1.5 million euro ransom from Matveev. “He never named the total figure, just told me that 60,000 for each “soldier” seemed reasonable. He never got into the details of how this money should be paid. I got the impression that he had no clear plan and was making it up as he went along. He seemed unsure of what do to next. It was strange as I was always under the impression that I was in control, not him.” The same scrambled English voice also called the ship’s Russian insurer, and threatened to start killing the crew members unless a 1.5 million euro ransom was paid.

The suspect on the ship "Arctic Sea" kidnapping detained Latvian citizens Vitāliju Lepins and Dmitri Savino Mālpils described as orderly and honest people in the family, today announces the newspaper "Latvian Newspaper.. Two Latvian citizens, who together with another six men accused of kidnapping citizens of Russia and the pirates Mālpils half living relatives. They claimed to know nothing, as Lepins and projectiles landed on the seized ship, and the version does not believe in piracy.

Entrepreneur Gunta Ozolina, after contacts with Moscow, hired the attorney Egon Rusanovs.. Her husband Dmitry Savino has been detained on suspicion of hijacking the cargo ship "Arctic Sea"

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Island of Luck: crew released in Congo

The court of Kinshasa in the Congo has acquitted seven Ukrainians and one Russian detained as part of an investigation into a murder, the Ukrainian foreign minister.

The Panama-flagged Victoria Oceanway LTD Island of Luck cargo vessel, with a 23-member crew from Aina Treding Ltd, including 15 Ukrainians and four Russians, was detained on October 20 in Matadi, the main port of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Seven Ukrainians and one Russian were arrested and police accused three Ukrainians of murdering a local resident and beating several others.

"In the presence of the Ukrainian ambassador the court ruled to acquit seven Ukrainian nationals and one Russian," Petro Poroshenko told journalists.

He said the sailors will be brought to the Russian diplomatic mission and then flown to Paris, adding that Ukraine has no embassy in the Congo, but that they will be accompanied by Ukraine's ambassador in Gabon until departure. The sailors are expected at home on Monday.

Poroshenko quoted the ship captain as saying the health of the sailors is good.

The Island of Luck vessel brought 12 metric tons of rice worth $12,000 to Matadi on October 4. When preparing to release the ship from port, Congolese officials found three locals in the water near the vessel. The suspected illegal migrants were allegedly beaten by the crew and thrown overboard. A fourth reportedly drowned.

However, no traces of violence were found on three of the Congolese men, while the body of the fourth was buried without an autopsy on October 22.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website on November 03, 2009 that "the Russian Embassy in Kinshasa [the Congolese capital] is keeping the situation under control."

A Russian embassy source [then] told RIA Novosti that no official charges had yet been brought against the crew and the Ukrainian members of the crew were the chief suspects.

...meanwhile the vessel was reported on January 22, 2010 at São Paulo, Brazil

ISLAND OF LUCK - 24°17'47" S 44°56'55" W - GG75MQ68DU
Source callsign: 3FDT7
MMSI number: 355064000
IMO number: 850857700
Navigational status: Under way (engine) (0)
Vessel class: Cargo (70)
Destination: TEMA (ETA 20090918160000) Ghana
Location: 24°17'47" S 44°56'55" W - locator GG75MQ68DU - show map - static map
44.1 miles Southeast bearing 144° from Ilhabela, São Paulo, Brazil


Al Khaliq: handymax bulker ransomed 3.1-3.3m


Somali pirates say they received a $3.1 million ransom, local reports speak of $3.2m, paid by the British shipowner.
"All crew members have been with us for years and we’ll make sure they are released,” said S.C. Sehgal, managing director of SNP Shipping Services Private Limited, manager of the Panamanian-flagged Al Khaliq.
The ship MV AL KHALIQ has been freed today after a multimillion dollar ransom was delivered. "She sailed free after the last pirate left the vessel this morning,"
The 22,000 dwt handymax bulker MV AL KHALIQ was captured on 22 Oct. 2009 around 180 miles west of the Seychelles. The crew consists of 24 Indian sailors and two Burmese nationals.

Reuters quoted Somali pirates as saying they received a $3.1 million ransom, local reports speak of $3.2m, paid by the British shipowner.

The vessel is owner-managed by London-based Holbud Ship Management.

The vessel with over 35,000 metric tons of wheat grain for Mombasa in Kenya has now sailed free from the Somali coast near Harardheere with all crew on board apparently being ok, given the circumstances.

The ship, however, had to be refueled to reach Mombasa, where she is expected in around 5 days time. MT APLHA PINA was sent with fuel from Mombasa and is now escorting the vessel to the Kenyan port.


[AG] Ariella: barbed wire across freeboard

The crew of the Ariella had seen a skiff approaching their position in the Gulf of Aden early morning February 05 with six or seven armed men firing at them, said Cmdr. Dan B. Termansen, the commander of the Danish warship HDMS Absalon (L16). The Ariella crew ran to the bridge, where the captain sent out a distress call and put the ship on full steam ahead,'
Despite the vessel's increased speed and the choppy waters, the pirates balanced a ladder in their tiny boat and crawled up the side of the ship, he said. The first pirate crept through barbed wire the crew had stretched across the ship's freeboard and fired a burst of automatic gunfire into the air. At that point, Termansen said, the ship's crew members locked themselves in a secure room. All are reported safe.

The Ariella's distress call was heard by the Indian warship Tabar, which passed it on to a French plane. The plane confirmed the presence of the pirates on deck. The Kommandostøtteskib or Command and Support ship HDMS Absalon , sent a helicopter to investigate.

"We saw a small boat and fired some warning shots to make it stop," said Termansen.

It was impossible to say whether there were still pirates onboard, said Termansen. The hatches were open. The crew — who were in contact with the Danes by telephone — said they'd seen at least one armed man on deck and had been shot at by others in the skiff.

In the meantime, the Ariella was plowing at top speed through one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with a cargo of 30,000 tons of steel and no one at the wheel.

The helicopter couldn't see anyone on the bridge or on deck, and there was no response to two warning shots fired across the Ariella's bow, He didn't know if there were any pirates onboard or not, but he decided that the ship had to be stopped.

He dispatched a team from Denmark's elite Frogmen unit. They bounced across the waves in a dinghy and scaled the sides of the cargo ship using grappling hooks. They secured the bridge, released the crew and then launched an hours-long search for the pirate the crew had seen. They found no one.

Above the vehicle deck and LCP bay is an 850 square metre helicopter landing deck. This deck can accommodate 20-t helicopters (including Chinooks) but was sized specifically for two EH-101s (the KDM has 4 EH-101s on order for the Absalon class) as were the twin-bay hangars.

Arctic Sea: turns its AIS back on at Bejaia Algeria

The phantom vessel Arctic Sea was last noticed with its AIS transponder on passing Malaga on January 24 under the ship’s current captain Mikhail Kotyanin, with timber for Bejaia. A new crew was sent to man the vessel on 11 November and it resumed commerce after being repaired, re-certified, and re-provisioned. The Russians have announced that the original 'hijacked' crew will take over for the next voyage out of Finland.


[AG] Ariella: crew locked away from Pirates

Antigua and Barbuda-flagged bulker Ariella on February 5, reported that six heavily armed pirates had boarded the ship, but the crew had managed to lock themselves away, HDMS Absalon (L16) Danish command and support ship sent a helicopter to investigate, then a team of specially trained forces in inflatable dinghies to board the ship and regain control.

In this case the ship had registered with naval authorities, was travelling along a recommended transit corridor and was part of a group transit, ensuring the ships had a helicopter within 30 minutes' reaction time. It seems the pirates escaped to their boat before the troops arrived.

sold by Splosna Plovba D.O.O., Slovenia to P. Doehle Schiffahrts KG, Germany . name and flag unchanged.
Port of registry: St. John´s
IMO: 8028864
Call Sign: V2PI2
Pos-names: Lakes Star; Golden Trader; Pohorje; Cielo d'Istria
Type/class: bulk carrier
Built by: Kanda Zosensho K.K. - Kawajiri (Japan) in 1983
DWT: 32.442 tons

HDMS Absalon (L16), together with her sister ship HDMS Esbern Snare (L17), are the biggest ships ever in the Royal Danish Navy


Rim: 7-knot vessel hijacked outside IRT Corridor

Rim (IMO: 7328554)
Cargo Ship
IMO Number: 7328554 Flag: Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
MMSI Number: 642146036 Length: 106.0m
Callsign: HMVS5 Beam: 14.0m
Other names: RIMNICU VILCEA (1973-1998).
speed 7 kn

North Korea general cargo ship Rim has been hijacked by pirates. The 4,800dwt vessel was taken in the Gulf of Aden to the north of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor. It was not registered with MSC HOA. US guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) and a SH-60 Light Airborne Multi-Purpose Helo from the Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer USS FARRAGUT (DDG 99)(2006), both in the service of NATO CTF 151, had confirmed the hijacking. Rim is now heading towards the Somali Basin. Libyans and Romanians,17 crew members. Vessel was enroute Mariupol Ukraine – Kandla India.

White Sea & Onega Shipping Company: cargoes are delivered to the countries of Europe, North Africa and the Near East: also involved in the "North-South" corridor carrying cargoes from Europe to the Caspian Sea and Iran.


Arctic Sea: return of the phantom Captain

A handwritten letter allegedly penned by Igor Borisov an unemployed roofer before the "Arctic Sea" incident reiterates the "hijacker's" testimony, and appeals to the international community to take seriously their concerns.
The alleged pirates claim they were hired to conduct temporary environmental work. The men are awaiting trial in a Moscow jail, facing more than 20 years in prison on charges of kidnapping and piracy.

Many assume the Arctic sea was carrying AA missiles sold to Iran but being delivered without authority by truant Russian military and criminals. It was said in the West that the vessel disappeared. The Kremlin was warned to stop its shipment or others would step in. The prisoners say they were set up, part of a cover meant to save the Kremlin embarrassment. A Russian frigate "rescued" the vessel from these"hijackers."

The Arctic Sea was unloading Finnish timber at the port of Bejaia on January 25 and will be sailing again from Finland in February. The Arctic Sea will take to the seas , the Russian Seafarers' Union said.
"The Arctic Sea cargo vessel's captain will return to the vessel and in February he will set sail again," the statement said, adding that most of the crew who were on board the ship when it was seized would be joining him.


Filitsa: American helicopters watched ransom

100125-N-4236E-217 RED SEA (Jan. 25, 2010) An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Rampagers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 catapults off the flight deck of the Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is deployed as part of an on-going rotation of forward-deployed forces supporting maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

The helicopters were presumed to be American, because EU NAVFOR insisted they had no vessel nearby.

The Fortress Shipping Co. Marshall Islands-flagged Filitsa was en route to Mombasa, Kenya, where it and its crew were to be checked over, then was to continue to Durban, South Africa,


Marshall Island Filitsa: TARP money to Pirates?

With helicopters, presumably from a nearby warship belonging to an international anti-piracy naval mission, circling above, a ransom of between two and three million dollars was air-dropped on February 01 onto a Marshall Island-flagged Filitsa, whose Fortress Shipping Co., beneficial owner Fortress Investment Group, is a TARP recipient. The cargo ship captured by Somali pirates in November but the vessel was not immediately freed, pirates said.

The vessel is currently anchored near the pirate lair of Hobyo.

Pirates in the region explained that the gang holding the ship received the money and went back to shore but left another crew of pirates onboard to foil any retaliatory military action against the original hijackers.

"The ransom money was received this afternoon and the pirates who were holding the ship have left it," Abdi Yare, a pirate leader, said from the nearby coastal town of Harardhere."But they have left some colleagues on board to give them time to vanish with the money," he explained.

"The ship will be free once the money is properly secured but the security of those who received the ransom should be assured by their friends, who will stay onboard until sometime in the evening,"