ibnlive » World

Nov 22, 2008 at 01:51pm IST

Kenya urges shipowners not to pay ransom

Nairobi: Amidst the financial meltdown the world over, there is one group of people who are not complaining.

Somali pirates have collected nearly $150 mn in ransoms over the past one year according to Kenyan officials.

About 120 attacks have been carried out and more than 35 ships seized with 600 crew members kidnapped.

Their latest catch is the Saudi super tanker with crude oil worth $100 mn.

Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula says, "We are advised that in the last twelve months, ransom to the excess of $150 mn has been paid to these criminals and that is why they are becoming more and more audacious in their activities.”

Kenyan authorities have now called on ship owners to not pay ransoms to these pirates.

The authorities are also calling an international conference of world leaders to address this issue.

Wetangula says, “Major trading countries such as India, Malaysia, China, your vessels are in danger. Our major trading partners Germany, Britain and others - our cargo is in danger. We must act now and not tomorrow."

Meanwhile the UN Security Council is thinking of extending its authorisation for ships from countries helping to fight piracy to enter Somalia's territorial waters.

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