Somali Pirates Keep Indian Hostages Despite Being Paid Ransom

April 16, 2011

Associated Press

NEW DELHI — The owners of a hijacked ship said Saturday that they were perplexed by the continuing detention of some of their crew members by Somali pirates despite their paying a multimillion-dollar ransom.

Pirates released the ship and some of the crew on Friday. But a Somali pirate told The Associated Press afterward that the Indian crew members’ hostage ordeal is being prolonged in retaliation for the arrests of more than 100 Somali pirates by the Indian Navy.

However, the ship owners said Saturday that all the crew members of the Asphalt Venture were Indian — not just the seven still being held.

All 15 crew members, held hostage after September’s attack, were Indian, Sunil Puri, a New Delhi-based spokesman for Interglobal, a United Arab Emirates-based company that owns the ship, told the AP.

On Friday, Hassan Farah said pirates in stronghold of Haradhere in Somalia had taken a collective decision not to release the Indian crew members.

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