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British Gov't Refuses to Pay Pirates

Jan 12th 10
Staff Report

Somali pirates are threatening to kill the British couple they abducted several months ago. reported the abduction of Paul and Rachel Chandler in late October 2009, as they were leaving the Seychelles headed for Tanzania. The couple had been sailing the Indian Ocean for two years prior on their 38-foot yacht, Lynn Rival. The local coast guard picked up the boat’s emergency beacon on Friday, October 22, but found no trace of the Chandlers. Later, it was reported that a pirate, known only as “Hassan,” said his group had the couple, who were both healthy, but ransom demands would follow.

And follow they did; varying reports claim that the pirates are asking for three to seven million dollars. reported that in an interview broadcast, the Chandlers, who were surrounded by armed men, said they fear that if the ransom is not soon paid, the pirates will either kill them or hand them over to a terrorist group.

The British government refuses to pay ransom to any kidnappers, reports Mrs. Chandler stated in the interview that the captors are becoming impatient as no one has contacted them to begin negotiations.

According to, Mr. Chandler said that the couple is in reasonable health and unharmed. However, reported, “Chillingly, [the pirates] revealed that 55-year-old Mrs. Chandler is in urgent need of medical assistance after sustaining a savage physical assault. One pirate claimed they will both be killed by March if there is no deal,” and also reported that the couple is suffering in terrible conditions.

Regardless, the Foreign Affairs Office said it will stand firmly by its policies on ransom. Watch this space.



January 24, 2010


According to “Somali pirates yesterday threatened a fight to the death that would endanger a hostage British couple if British forces attempt to rescue their captives. 'We die first before they get freed,' said one of the pirates, contacted by satellite telephone.”

The pirates made these threats after it was reported that the Special Boat Service was sending a rescue mission for the couple. The pirates advise against any attempt at rescue.

It was also reported that the pirates had lowered the amount of the ransom from the original $7 million to $2 million.


Read the full article here.



Related Topics:

Pirates Traveling Farther Afield


  • as far as I know the reason the American ship seized by pirates escalated into military action was that there was no choice. US government policy forbids the payment of ransom. Its possible that a third party...other than the UK government could be brought in the negotiate.
    Posted by junior_1 15/01/2010 12:30:33

  • I can imagine a percentage of yacht owners, would be concerned about the return of their yacht, firstly and welfare of crew second... Probably broker a deal for the yacht, but they can keep the crew. Very appealing to the pirate, break up the operation and sell the assets seperately
    Posted by maca 14/01/2010 11:19:45

  • Who has been paying the ransoms for all of the cargo vessels? I was under the impression that it was the insurance companies. Why would they be asking the UK to pay? What happens if a crewed boat is captured? Does a typical yacht insurance policy pay the ransom if the owner refuses? Not that I'm planning on taking a job heading anywhere near Somalia, but I would be very interested in how that would work. Anyone know the answer to that?
    Posted by TiffanyS 12/01/2010 21:09:44

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