Set adrift in an inflatable boat, hundreds of miles out to sea, the pirates never made it to shore. What a damn shame.
Ten pirates released from a Russian warship 300 miles out to sea may have drowned, according to Russian officials and colleagues of the pirates, raising fears of retaliation against other vessels plying East African waters.
The pirates were captured last week after they hijacked the Moscow University, a Liberian-flagged, Russian-operated oil tanker sailing off the Somali coast. A Russian warship came to the ship’s rescue and apprehended the pirates. But after determining it would be too difficult to obtain a conviction, Russian officials said that they dropped plans to take the pirates to Moscow for trial.
Instead, like many other warships that have intercepted pirate skiffs, the Russian marines released the pirates — but not before removing weapons and navigation equipment from the boat several hundred miles from shore. Russian officials gave no explanation for removing the navigation equipment.
A Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson said radio signals from the boat disappeared about an hour after the release. “That could mean that they are dead,” the spokesperson said.
Fellow pirates in Somalia also said they lost contact with the boat after their separation from the Russian warship. “We will hold Russia responsible if any harm comes to them,” said a pirate commander, Abdi Dhagaweyne, in a telephone interview. “I’m not sure of their safety now because we have since lost contact.”
Pirates ‘have all died,’ Russia says, after decrying ‘imperfections’ in international law
Freed Somali pirates ‘probably died’ – Russian source
Russia says freed pirates didn’t reach land
Pirates Missing After Russian Navy ‘Releases’ Them
Russian Military Says Pirates Likely Dead
Reports: Pirates released by Russian military believed to have died
10 pirates released in high seas are evidently dead: Russia
Military Says Freed Pirates Didn’t Reach Land
Freed pirates never made it to shore
Somali pirates released by Russian forces confirmed dead
Pirates Versus Putin
Of course, the obvious question that arises is were the pirates still alive when they were set adrift?
/the Russians ain’t sayin’ and the evidence is forever lost at sea
Filed under: Blog Entry Tagged: | Abdi Dhagaweyne, Conviction, Drowned, East African Waters, Inflatable Boat, Liberian-Flagged, Marshal Shaposhnikov, Moscow, Moscow University, Moskovsky Universitet, Navigation Equipment, Oil Tanker, Pirate Commander, Pirate Skiffs, Pirates, Retaliation, Russia, Russian Defense Ministry, Russian Marines, Russian Officials, Russian Warship, Russian-Operated Oil Tanker, Russians, Somali Pirates, Somalia, Trial, Weapons