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,"