Reports are just starting to come about an aircraft that has been impounded in Mogadishu airport with a large sum of pirate ransom money on board. One website is showing a picture of a KingAir/1900 - but this may be a file photo. Anyone know who the unlucky crew or operator is?
Two Americans, two Britons and two Kenyans were Tuesday arrested at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde international airport in possession of $3.6 million believed to be ransom money due to pirates after their aircraft made an unscheduled stop, a Somali police official said.
Police Spokesman Abdullahi Hassan Barise told Somalia Report that the departure point of the two aircraft was unknown, and they may have landed unexpectedly due to a shortage of fuel. Ransom money is often delivered by light aircraft which leave the Kenyan airstrips of Wilson, in Nairobi, or Laikipia
When will they learn how dangerous it is being on the ground in Mogadishu main? The airport is controlled by a "militia" that has soldiers shooting at the port, to stop shipping, and the port is shooting back, preventing aircraft from arriving, and somehow they still land. Anyone remember the A310 that was chartered into there in 1997 and got shot up landing into Mogadishu? It then flew to Mombasa on two hydraulic systems and almost ran off the end in Mombasa, then ferried onto Nairobi again after that for repairs.
Not sure if you can call the Ugandan Army a "militia". They control the Airport and the port now, and have done for a while. It is still a mess up there, but it has improved from the Sthole it used to be. And the Braai's were always good.
Not sure how to read today's reports, but apparently it is two Phoenix aircraft who were impounded plus crew and pax. Not good for those guys at all!
Most detailed web story is in Somalia Report - Piracy which says:
"Now it seems the TFG is red-faced and eager to get the men and the money back on the plane and forget the entire incident. The TFG was expected to release the men and aircraft Wednesday. Phoenix has requested planes and crew to be released, as they had full permission to enter Somali airspace and land at the airport. Meetings were still ongoing Wednesday morning, and the two aircraft - second of which is registered in Seychelles - were still parked on the runway".
As far as Africa night-stops go, that must be about the worst case scenario. Hope it all get resolved, and the guys released to go back to safer flying.... like medivacs out of war zones or something....
News just came in that the crew are still held up in Mgq and were going to be taken to court. Both aircrafts chained up at the end of the runway. Seems like a deal gone terribly wrong as it obvious they were there for the wrong reasons with a whole Lot of $$$$$. Unfortunately I can't disclose more for obvious reasons.
I agree theres corruption in Africa but again there's corruption everywhere in the world including the 1st world countries. Blaming the whole continent is really not called for as there are really good law abiding citizens. It's just a few rotten people and companies that ruin the image for everyone.
Well, there seems to be some seriously confusing stories about what happened. Something semi-official about the amount of money on board more than the pirates were expecting so they (TFG/Airport guards/pirate contacts) got upset and the rest we know....
OR, version two the planes landed without a proper clearance and the TFG guards at the airport launched into this issue only to find they'd struck gold and 3.6Million US$$.
OR, version three, Phoenix flew in under UN clearance (which they'd done upto four times before this year apparently) and did their usual thing of money transfer across the apron, but someone in the 'know' wanted a larger share of things, so stirred it up officially.
Now the TFG government have a publicity situation on their hands - is it good, and they can be seen to be doing something legal about stopping the ransom trade (as they don't agree to it like the rest of the world), or its a publicity shot in the foot, because they now have 6 western hostages, no legal framework for dealing with them, 3.6M in the bank and 6M of aircraft on their apron. What a dilemma.
In the meantime, there are six guys stuck in limbo between being officially recognised and diplomatically hung out to dry. They were supposed to appear in court yesterday but haven't heard anything about it recently. Anyone else know what's happening to these poor mugs...???
And something else that someone said... it doesn't matter how attractive the money for these sort of jobs sounds when things are going well, its never enough when things go badly. Like this. Bet the guys sitting in Mog detention aren't so sure the payment was worth it now...
You're either paid too much or not enough for stuff like this...
Should we have any sympathy for people who pay terrorists off with $Millions?
They are perpetuating and exacerbating a crippling international menace by doing this. Flying those volumes of cash around will get you arrested for currency smuggling anywhere in the civilised world, so what if Somalia joins the club too? Can we do as we please there just because the place is a basket case?
So far no-one has mentioned the other side of the story. While we may or may not sympathise with the crews and "expats" that are facilitating the cash handovers. If it were not for them, who else would be obtaining the release of the many hostages in Somalia.
I think the current estimate is over 20 ships and almost 500 crew!
I'm not saying paying ransoms is correct, especially when most of the money is paying for weapons and dodgy business deals in Nairobi. I'm also not naive enough to think that the ransom payers are generally concerned about the crews of the ships currently held - the ships and their cargoes are what is being exchanged.
But as World governments refuse to act directly against the pirates because of soft "High Seas" laws this number will only increase. Someone needs to act to stop the taking of ships in the first place and cut-off the pirates' cash resupply.
As far as the releasing of hostages is concerned, I haven't heard of any governments assisting - out of sight out of mind!