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$ 8 Million Sought In Ransom To Release Sea Princess
  Written By:   (YEMEN POST STAFF) 
  Article Date:
January 16, 2009


Somali pirates are demanding $ 8 million in ransom to release a Yemeni cargo ship carrying about 2000 tons of diesel, they had hijacked early this month in the Arabian Sea en route to the Socotra Island.

Director of the Diesel and Gas Supply Division at the al-Essa Trading Establishment Juma Uod said the pirates also threaten to kill the ship crew, 15, two of whom are Yemenis, if a ransom is not paid soon.

Negotiations for a ransom of only $ 2 million are underway, he says.  

Since the hijacking of the ship, the island has suffered a crises caused by shortages of diesel as many institutions stopped operating, Uod said.

Electricity is cut off at these institutions and water is no longer supplied, he added.

Though vice president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi ordered to supply diesel to the Island as soon as possible, ships refuse to transfer diesel to the Island asking for protection from possible pirate attacks, a local council official said.

Somali pirates seized last Saturday a Yemeni cargo ship, so-called Sea Princess 2, carrying 2000 tons of diesel bound for the Socotra Island. 

Pirates off Somalia’s coast and in the Gulf of Aden have stepped up attacks against merchant ships and vessels in the area, with almost 100 vessels attacked throughout the last year. 

Several Yemeni fishing and cargo ships were captured in the last few months but they were released without ransom.

Pirates usually demand ransom to release what they seize and mostly they receive.