Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pirate ransom: counterparty risk

Arranging to deliver the ransom for the Ukranian ship captured by Somali pirates, and to receive the ship and hostage crew in return is a delicate matter without a legal framework to reduce the counterparty risk (sort of like a drug buy): Mediator Says Ransom Deal Has Been Reached for Pirated Ukrainian Freighter

"Andrew Mwangura, who as head of a Kenyan maritime association has helped mediate the situation, said Sunday that the Somali pirates who captured the freighter more than two months ago and the ship’s owners had agreed on a ransom. He would not reveal the figure, but he said that the only thing left was to figure out how to get the money to the pirates and hand over the ship.
Still, that is no simple feat, given the band of jumpy pirates on board and the half-dozen American and European naval vessels circling the freighter."

The related story in the Telegraph notes that
"The US military has overflown the hijacked vessel several times to take pictures of the crew lined up on the bridge and verify that all were in good health. "

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