No Fly Zone

Two planes (a Citation jet and a Cessna caravan single-engine) seized in Somalia with $3.6 million in ransom money were modified without civil aviation authorisation to enable them drop cash to pirates, it has been revealed.

An official said the planes based at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi were given special clearance before flying to Somalia on UN missions but ended up being used to drop money to ships hijacked by pirates.

The seizure of the planes has had a knock on effect, and has reportedly threatened the release of the 21 crew members of the “MV Suez”.

The latest barrier to their safe release is the lack of chartered aircraft to transport the ransom to their kidnappers. A spokesman said, “We are currently in talks with a private company to provide us a plane to drop the ransom money to the pirates before the 2nd June deadline, but there is no aircraft available at the moment”.

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