MV Albedo hostages free

Hostages escape through window to evade pirates.

MV Albedo hostages free

After 1288 days in captivity, the final hostages from the MV Albedo have escaped to freedom. In a twist, it appears that they escaped after a split emerged in the pirate gang holding them. According to some sources, part of the gang accepted a small ransom sum, unknown to their colleagues, who were pushing for more money.

Media reports over the weekend revealed that the 11 men (7 Bangladeshi, 2 Sri Lankan, 1 Indian and 1 Iranian) had managed to escape their captors by climbing out of a window and making for the nearest village, where they were taken in by government-affiliated militia.

The MV Albedo was hijacked by pirates on November 26th, 2010, as it transited from Mombassa, Kenya, to Jebel Ali, UAE, by a gang led by pirate commander, Guushaaye. Protracted negotiations and a demand for a ransom of $8 million were not met, and the crew was effectively abandoned by the Iranian owners of the ship.

In July 2012, the relatives of seven Pakistani crew on board the ship raised $1.2 million in ransom, with the help of a wealthy donor, to ensure their release. This led to fighting amongst the pirates controlling the ship, and the vessel itself sank in rough seas during the SW monsoon that year, with the loss of five hostages and five pirates who died as they tried to abandon the vessel.

As recently as last month, media pressure had been building in Bangladesh in an attempt to bring the hostages’ plight to national attention. Their freedom means that there are now still an estimated 43 people still being held by pirates in Somalia, including American/German journalist, Michael Scott Moore, the last Westerner known to be held in the country. Moore was kidnapped by pirates whilst travelling to Galkayo airport in January 2012.

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