There had been reports suggesting the money intended to pay off the pirates as a ransom, while others accounts saying that it was aimed at financing Al shabaab, Barise told reporters in the airport.
update on Breaking News : Six Foreigners Arrested in Mogadishu $3.6 Million on Two Planes Believed to be Pirate Ransom
The Somali government has inadvertently created an embarrassing event for the owners of the MV Suez and the
MV Yuan Xiangwho expected a ransom drop and freedom for their crew and vessels.
Two Americans, two Britons and two Kenyans on their way to make the ransom payment were arrested Tuesday 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 terror free somalia 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. Further examination shows that the TFG now is backtracking as fast as they can on the arrest and will release the men and aircraft tomorrow morning.
Ministers from the Transitional Federal Government, which publicly do not approve of the payment of ransoms insisted that the men take the duffel bags of money to the Central Bank of Somalia.
Foreigners Escorted By Police To Deposit Ransom in Bank
Abdishakur Hassan Farah, the Somali Minister for Interior and National Security, issued a statement saying all six men would remain in custody, "until they were cleared." The minister praised the Somali security forces for stopping the private security company employees before the ransoms could be paid. Now the backchannel story is that the TFG is red faced and eager to get the men and the money back on the plane and forget about the entire incident.
Sources close to pirate groups over the weekend told terror that ransom payments were due to be dropped for both the Egyptian-owned MV Suez and Chinese-owned MV Yuan Xiang. terror free somalia understands $2.5 million was to be delivered to the MV Yuan Xiang on Tuesday, while an unknown sum was to be dropped onto the MV Suez.
The MV Suez was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on August 2, 2010 as she transited from Pakistan to Eritrea. The crew is comprised of 6 Indians, 4 Pakistani, 4 Sri Lankans and 11 Egyptians. The vessel is managed by Red Sea Navigation Co, based in Port Tawfiq, Egypt.
The MV Yuan Xiang and its 29 Chinese crew members were seized 650 nautical miles east of Salalah, Oman on November 13, 2010. The Panama-flagged vessel is owned and managed by Ningbo Hongyuan Ship Management Ltd.
MV Yuan Xiang
This episode has brought to the public eye an industry that has been deliberately cloaked in secrecy. Ransoms are typically paid in cash using United States currency and delivered by ship or aircraft to the ship, small airfields or to a middleman. The seizure of the cash and the resultant delay has created a problem for the ship owners and hostages who await the end of their ordeal. This is also the first time on record that Somali government officials have prevented the delivery of a cash ransom to criminal organizations.