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Somali Pirate 'Ransom' British Sent To Jail

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by X-PASTER, Jun 20, 2011.


    X-PASTER Moderator

    Jun 20, 2011
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    Three Britons have been sent to prison and fined for smuggling millions of dollars into Somalia which was allegedly going to be spent paying ransoms to pirates.

    Authorities said the Britons, along with an American and two Kenyans, were found with $3.6m in cash inside a plane they flew into Mogadishu airport on May 24.

    The men were charged with illegally bringing money into the country, carrying cash intended to pay ransoms for hijacked ships and landing in Mogadishu without proper papers.

    Two of the Britons have been sentenced to 15 years in prison, the other 10 years.

    They have also been fined $10,000.

    The judge, Hashi Elmi, said they will be allowed to appeal, and "if they ask to pay more instead of (remaining in) prison, then we shall see and take our decision".

    The Foreign Office said Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed had ordered the group not be moved from the relative safety of the capital's airport.

    ''We are aware of the verdict.

    "We have impressed upon the Transitional Federal Government to ensure the safety and security of the group while legal options are considered," it said in a statement.

    Maritime piracy costs the global economy up to $12bn a year and has led to the creation of many private security companies offering armed protection for ships and conducting ransom drops.

    This is the first time foreigners have been sentenced by the Somali government in the last 20 years, and comes amid political upheaval in the country.

    Mogadishu is at the centre of a four-year insurgency by Islamists who want to topple the government and impose a strict version of Sharia law.

    Government troops control almost three-quarters of the city, helped by 9,000 African peacekeepers who are seen as propping up the government.

    On Sunday, Somalia's prime minister announced he had resigned, complying with a deal struck between the president and parliamentary speaker to remove him while extending the term of the administration.

    "Considering the interest of the Somali people and the current situation in Somalia, I have decided to leave my office," Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said.