Friday, September 11, 2009

Briton linked to hostage deal with Somali pirates is arrested,Freed Seychelles sailors home after Somali ordeal

A Briton is facing trial in Somalia after being caught up in an exchange of hostages and pirates between the Horn of Africa and the Seychelles.The Briton, whose name has not been released, has been described by authorities in Puntland region as a "facilitator" in a plan to hand a party of arrested Somali pirates back to their gang in return for the release of three sailors from the Seychelles.The arrested man and a Kenyan citizen are believed to be security contractors who had accompanied 23 suspected pirates who had been handed over to Seychelles authorities earlier this year.With Somalia gripped by a civil war and pirate gangs demanding million-dollar ransoms, an increasing number of private security firms are working in the region.The pirates were transported to Somalia on a clandestine flight on board two planes last Sunday. Ahmed Ali Salad, governor of Mudug region in the semiautonomous region of Puntland, said the pilots told authorities they were carrying humanitarian goods.This is disputed by authorities in the Seychelles, who have denied any involvement in illegal prisoner swaps. Joel Morgan, the small nation's minister in charge of piracy, denied any deal was struck, saying the men were released due to a lack of evidence...more..
Freed Seychelles sailors home after Somali ordeal