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News: MV Thor Nexus Released After Ransom Drop

April 11, 2011 - 21:47:33 UTC

MV Thor Nexus released by Somali pirates following ransom drop. Pirates fight over ransom money ends in death.

The Thai-owned general cargo ship, MV Thor Nexus, hijacked by pirates at the end of 2010, has been released by Somali pirates following the ransom payment of an, as yet, undisclosed amount (pirates claim $4.77 million has been paid), dropped between 0900 and 1200 local time, says Somaliareport. Details on the health of the 27 crew are yet to emerge.

The vessel is now en route to Mombasa, Kenya and is expected to reach the port within 3-5 days.

Hijacked on December 25, 2010 approximately 450nm Northeast of Socotra Island, the ship was transiting to Bangladesh with a cargo of 15,750 tons of fertilizer. Following the hijack of Thor Nexus, the Thai Navy had threatened to carry out a rescue mission, however, the pirates then declared they would kill the hostages if any such attempt was made.

In the report by Somalia Report, it also states how the pirates involved in the hijack of the Thor Nexus argued over the ransom, resulting in the death of one pirate. Allegedly, this is not uncommon as "Killing among pirates takes place habitually. They always fight over ransom, and never understand the value of life", according to a town official in the region of  Gara'ad. A witness in the region where the shooting took place, confirmed the disputed ransom was indeed over the Thor Nexus. Somalia Report also stated "According to sources in Gara'ad, 8 pirates have been killed since 2010 over ransom disputes. Sharing ransom amongst pirates is a complex issue, and squabbling over ransom is not uncommon, and sometimes causes civilian casualties."

Over 570 seafarers remain as hostages of pirates along the coast of Somalia. Vessels held include yachts, dhows, fishing boats, bulk carriers, general cargo ships, container ships, roll-on-roll-off ships, oil tankers and very large crude oil carriers with some of the larger vessels used as motherships, although dhows have been used extensively of late.

(Image source: Vesseltracker.com/SomaliaReport.com)

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