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FoxNews: In further evidence of the ongoing creation of a pirate economy, Kenya’s foreign affairs minister said Friday Somali pirates have collected more than $150 million in ransoms over the past year, and called on ship owners not to pay when their vessels are hijacked.
In the past two weeks Somalia’s increasingly brazen pirates have seized eight vessels including a huge Saudi supertanker loaded with $100 million worth of crude oil. Several hundred crew are now in the hands of Somali pirates.
“We are advised that in the last 12 months, ransom to the excess of $150 million has been paid to these criminals and that is why they are becoming more and more audacious in their activities,” Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Friday that the Saudi government was not and would not negotiate with pirates, but what the ship’s owners did was up to them.
The hijackings have had such a negative economic effect that shipping companies are rerouting traffic around areas prone to piracy.
The world’s largest oil tanker company warned that it may divert cargo shipments, which would boost costs up to 40 per cent.
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