Shipping Company to Negotiate With Pirates

March 28, 2010

The Director of the shipping company has announced they intend to negotiate for the release of the hijacked MV Talca. The Bermuda registered ship was hijacked by Somali pirates on March 23, and is believed to be the first Bermuda flagged ship to have suffered this fate. The ship is carrying $4 million worth of oranges, according to Reza Nourani, head of the Fresh Fruits Importers and Exporters Union.

The Managing Director of ALF Shipping told Sri Lankan press that although the pirates have not demanded a ransom yet, they are awaiting a signal from the Somali pirates to begin negotiations for the release of the ship and her crew.

Pirates normally demand ransoms of millions of dollars, and have the cash delivered to them via helicopter drops, and also sent in small boats.

MV Talca has 25 crew members on board: 23 Sri Lankans, 1 Filipino and 1 Syrian.

On March 25, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Bogollagama said the shipping company are in satellite contact with the pirates, and the pirates say the crew are in good health. The vessels’ captain was able to speak to the director on Friday March 26 and assure that the crew was fine

Director of Sri Lankan Merchant Shipping, A.W.H.R. Weerakoon said:

They are free to go around, and are not being held captive in a cage. They will be released once the shipping company pays the ransom that the pirates have demanded.


March 23: The Talca was hijacked while traveling from Egypt to Iran, approximately 120 nautical miles off the coast of Oman in the Gulf of Aden, which is reported to be one of the most dangerous shipping lanes in the world.

March 24: MV Talca was in transit, reported to be shadowed at least part of the time by a US Warship

March 25: The European Union Naval Force confirmed that the MV Talca arrived off the Somali coast of Bargaal, with the African Press Agency reporting that Governor of Baargaal Ahmed Bile Mohamed said the MV Talca reached his city and people can see it from shore.

March 26: Sketchy reports that the MV Talca is heading to Garacad, a pirate stronghold

Somali pirates. Credit:

Somali pirates. Credit:


In 2010 there have been 36 attacks resulting in 12 sea-jackings. As of March 25 2010, there are at least 14 foreign vessels plus one barge in Somali pirate hands and approximately 200 people held, including an elderly British yachting couple

Ships Presently Being Held by Somali Pirates

  • MV FRIGIA: Seized Mar 22, 2010, Turkish owned, Malta-flagged, 21 crew
  • CHARCOAL SHIP: Seized Mar 17, 2010, no other details known
  • MT UBT OCEAN: seized on Mar 5, 2010, Marshall Islands-flagged, Norwegian owned, 21 crew
  • ML ARZOO: Seized circa Feb 30, 2010, UAE-owned, Comoros-flagged, 14 crew
  • FV SAKOBA: Seized after Feb 26, 2010, Kenyan flagged, dubious circumstances surround ship which is reputed to have been part of a prior sea jacking, crew unknown
  • N.N.: Seized Mar 2, 2010, no other details known
  • BB AL-NISR-AL-SAUDI: Seized on March 01, 2010, ship not registered with maritime authorities, 14 crew
  • FV AL-SHURA: Seized after February 20, 2010, Yemeni owned, one sailor killed by Somali pirate-attackers, crew unknown
  • MV RIM: Seized February 02, 2010, North-Korean-flagged, Libyan owned, 10 crew
  • VC ASIAN GLORY: Seized January 02, 2010, UK-flagged, UK-owned, 25 crew
  • MT ST JAMES PARK: Seized December 28, 2009, owned by Israeli brothers Sammy and Yehuda Ofer, 26 crew
  • MV SOCOTRA 1: Seized December 25. 2009, no other details known

Somalia is largely considered a ‘failed state’, and has not had a functioning government for 19 years.

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