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Hostages of MV Iceberg1 may be freed next month

A Filipino seafarer and 22 other crew members A Filipino seafarer and 22 other crew members of a Dubai-owned ship hijacked by Somali pirates in March 2010, may finally be freed in July, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) news site The National reported this week.The National said this was the direction of negotiations for the release of the 23 surviving crew of the MV Iceberg 1, one of the ships held longest by Somali pirates.The National quoted the Indian Embassy in UAE as saying the sailors of the ship, which was captured on March 29, 2010, could be released by mid-July.MK Lokesh, the Indian ambassador to the UAE, told The National that "our hope is there will be a resolution by mid-July. We have requested the ship owners find an early solution."The ship's crew originally numbered 24, but one of the 24 crew members died on board last year.The crew includes sailors from Yemen, India, Ghana, Pakistan, Sudan, and the Philippines.A father of one of the sailors told The National that he was worried about his son's condition and that "we just want them to be free and that's all we are working towards."Citing data from the International Maritime Bureau, ...

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Hostage crew’s two-year ordeal may end next month

MV Iceberg1 hostages Relatives of the sailors aboard the Dubai-owned MV Iceberg 1 - one of the ships held longest by Somali pirates - yesterday expressed renewed hope after learning that the release of the crew could be next month.The Indian Embassy said the sailors of the ship, which was captured on March 29, 2010, could be released by mid-July after family members visited Dubai in May to step up pressure on the ship's owners."We have been told it will happen in July," said the father of a captured sailor, asking not to be identified. "I have not spoken to my son in more than a year. I constantly worry about his health and condition. We just want them to be free and that's all we are working towards."MV Iceberg 1 has been in captivity longer than any other vessel currently held by Somali pirates. One of the 24 crew members died on board last year. The crew includes sailors from Yemen, India, Ghana, Pakistan, Sudan and Philippines.Indian relatives who visited Dubai declined to be identified since they have been cautioned against discussing the hostages' release by the Yemeni ship owner and Indian officials. They said they had been warned ...

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MV Iceberg: 2 years on, Government yet to take action

Sailors of MV Iceberg are the longest-held hostages in Somalia It has been exactly two years since the day the MV Iceberg-I was hijacked and its crew were taken hostage. The hapless parents of Dhiraj Tiwari, one of the six Indian sailors taken hostage aboard MV Iceberg-I, say they have met almost all the powers-that-be over the issue but help is yet to come by.Abandoned by the ship owner, tortured by the pirates and forgotten by the Indian government, the sailors are the longest-held hostages in Somalia."No one cares for the poor in this country, if they were children of rich of politicians, everything would have been sorted out quickly," Purushottam Tiwari, Dhiraj's father, says.It has been exactly two years since the day the MV Iceberg-I was hijacked and its crew were taken hostage.Taken captive in March 2010, the cargo ship MV Iceberg-I's owner has stopped negotiations with the pirates. He has also not paid a single penny to the families of the sailors. CNN-IBN had first established contact with the hijacked sailors in 2011.Dhiraj Tiwari had then said, "They don't give us anything. Sometimes they give us food once a day, sometimes just half a bottle of water. Conditions ...

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Relatives of pirated ship’s crew seek resolution

Crew of MV Iceberg The relatives of shipping crew who were taken hostage by Somali pirates earlier this year, have sought assistance from the Indian government to help secure the prisoners' release, reports The National.The MV Iceberg, a Dubai-owned vessel belonging to Azal Shipping Company, which was captured by pirates in the Gulf of Aden in March, is being held by pirates with a total of 24 crew of international origin still captive.Representatives of the crewmen's families have met with the Indian opposition leader, Sushma Swaraj, of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday to attempt to resolve the issue.Mr Singh, a brother of one of the captives, told The National that they were trying hard to arrange for someone to come to the rescue of their loved ones.He said his family had not heard anything from his brother since June 3. "That was the last time when he called us. We don't know how he is doing now."The MV Iceberg, was en route to Jebel Ali when it was hijacked. At the time of its capture the MV Iceberg was crewed by nine Yemenis, six Indians, four Ghanaians, two Pakistanis, two Sudanese and a Filipino.Source: Arabian Supply Chain

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Don’t pay the pirates

With the case of MV Iceberg proving problematic, ship owners are warned against paying ransoms Shipping firms must stop giving in to pirates and handing over ransoms if they want to stamp out hijackings along the Somali coastline, claims a top defence adviser.Rear Admiral Chris Parry, a senior strategic and military adviser, told 7DAYS during a visit to Dubai that he blamed vessel owners for the increasing acts of piracy in Somalia, as many insist on sailors using the Gulf of Aden because it is a cheaper and quicker route."In a bid to minimise costs and maximise profits, a number of ships are taking the risk by using routes that are prone to piracy. Safer routes such as the Cape of Good Hope are considered costly and time consuming," said Parry, a former British naval officer. Parry said ship owners have a responsibility to protect their crew, vessels and cargo and must look at ways to prevent hijackings - paying a ransom should be a last resort, he said."Ransom payments are the key factor in the escalation of acts of piracy along the Somali coast," added Parry."By refusing to pay ransoms to the hijackers, it will become unattractive for Somalis ...

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Pirates demand $8 mln for UAE vessel

For the release of MV Iceberg that they hijacked last year Somali pirates have demanded a ransom payment of millions of dollars for the release of a UAE-owned vessel that they hijacked last year, Press TV reported.The pirates are said to be demanding $8 million in ransom to free MV Iceberg 1 cargo ship and its 24 crew members. They have warned that hostages would be killed if ransom demands were not met soon.Somali pirates seized MV Iceberg 1 some 10 nautical miles off the port of Aden in Yemen on March 29, 2010. The Panama-flagged ship was bound for Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates, and was carrying a mixed cargo of general mechanical equipment.The crew consists of nationals from Yemen, India, Ghana, Sudan, Pakistan and the Philippines.Meanwhile, Francis Koosom, the son of one of the sailors still languishing in captivity, launched a struggle for the release of his father and other 23 crew members of MV Iceberg 1.He pleaded with the Ghanaian government to pay the ransom to secure the release of MV Iceberg crew.Ghana's Foreign Minister Muhammed Mumuni has promised to take all the necessary efforts to ensure the release of all the MV Iceberg sailors.Attacks ...

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MV Iceberg1 Remains in Pirate Control Despite Reports of Release

Ship and its 23 hostages are still being held captive for an $8 million ransom payment After media outlets just reported the release of the Dubai-based MV Iceberg 1 on Tuesday after being held by pirates for 19 months, Somalia Report announced that the ship and its 23 hostages are still being held captive for an $8 million ransom payment.The 4,500-ton Iceberg 1 owned by Azal Shipping Company was announced released on Tuesday when AP subsequently retracted their story. Then Somalia Report broke disappointing news. A spokesman of the pirate group holding the Iceberg 1 and crew told Somalia Report that they are still aboard the vessel in the Garacad area, and have not received a ransom payment. The pirate, called Adan, said that they would not release the vessel without their ransom demand.The Panamanian-flagged cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates on March 29th 2010 while sailing in the Gulf of Aden en route for the Jebel Ali Port carrying mechanical instruments.So far, the Iceberg 1 remains the longest-held ship by pirates.Source: Maritime Executive

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Indian government avoids talking with pirates

Waiting for the result of negotiations between pirates and ship owners Government yesterday ruled out any possibility of holding talks with Somali pirates who are holding 46 Indians and decided to "wait and watch" as ship owners continue to negotiate the release of the hostages.The decision was taken at an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG), which met here for the first time after being set up last month to deal with the problem.The meeting was of the view that the government should not negotiate with the pirates or enter into deals for release of crew on ransom, sources said.It was decided that the government would "wait and watch for the outcome of negotiations between pirates and ship owners for release of Indian crew still held captive including seven hostages of Indian freighter MV Asphalt Venture", they said.The IMG , headed by Additional Secretary, Shipping, Vijay Chhibber, and including senior official from Ministries of External Affairs, Home Affairs, Defence, Information and Broadcasting besides Navy and Intelligence Bureau , was formed on the recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) to deal with the problem of piracy which has been on the rise and to strengthen security measures.At present, 46 Indians are in the ...

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