Crime Pays

The Saudis have reportedly paid a $3 million ransom for their supertanker that’s been held by Somali pirates for the last several months:

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A Saudi-owned supertanker held by pirates off the coast of Somalia for two months has been released for a ransom of $3 million, according to one of the pirates and residents of Xarardheere, a pirate town on the Somali coast near where the tanker was being held.

The supertanker, about the length of an American Nimitz class aircraft carrier, was the largest ship known to have been seized by pirates, and it was fully loaded with two million barrels of oil.

The pirates were due to leave the ship after the money, paid by the ship’s owners, was received by the pirates on Friday, according to the pirates and residents, who later said that the ship had moved away from the coast where it had been anchored since November.

This is actually a pretty good deal for the Saudis. It’s certainly better than the $25 million the pirates were originally asking and the vessel alone is probably worth that.

However, if you subsidize something, you’ll get more of it.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.

Comments

  1. Triumph says:

    This is actually a pretty good deal for the Saudis. It’s certainly better than the $25 million the pirates were originally asking and the vessel alone is probably worth that.

    However, if you subsidize something, you’ll get more of it.

    It is important to remember that this whole event was a set up. The pirates use their cash to fund Islamic extremism in Somalia and other places in eastern Africa.

    The Saudis are the biggest Islamo-fascists in the world. There’s a reason that bin Laden is from Saudi along with other 9-11 conspirators. But in order to maintain good relations with the west they need to pretend they hate extremists.

    Thus, instead of giving money directly, one of their ships conveniently gets “hijacked.” The Saudis look like victims and they still get to support their Muhammad-loving brethren.

    Don’t be fooled. This deal is a total set up.

  2. John Burgess says:

    Nice opinion piece, Triumph. Perhaps you’d care to back it with some facts?

    A few facts might be the Saudi government refusing to get involved in the ransom payment, deeming piracy akin to terrorism.

    Or perhaps Bill O’Reilly, quoting a Strafor report on the subject which notes that the Saudis are working seriously against terrorism?

    Since 2003, the Saudi government has been very active in anti-terrorism. It has also decreased funding for its dawa missions, stopping them entirely in the US, for instance.

    Dave: The ship is estimated to be worth $150 million, by its builders. The cargo, at then-prevailing oil prices, was close to $250 million. I’d say the owners got a ‘good deal’ for only $3 million.