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Daily Insurance Industry News
Sunday 18th of November 2018
November 27, 2008

Lloyd’s chief expects ransom payment for Sirius Star

by Gill Montia

Story link: Lloyd’s chief expects ransom payment for Sirius Star

The Chairman of Lloyd’s of London, Lord Levene, has told Channel Four news that he thinks the owners of the highjacked oil tanker, Sirius Star, are highly likely to pay a ransom.

He likened the hijackers to terrorists and the risks they present to commercial vessels as similar to the U-boat menace in the Atlantic during the Second World War.

However, Lord Levene ruled out arming ships because he believes this would create new problems.

When challenged about endorsing terrorist activity by paying a ransom, the Lloyd’s chairman admitted that this was a difficult area but said if the alternative involved people getting killed, it is the only short term solution.

He added that ransom demands are likely to increase because hijackers are become more daring.

As for tracking down the criminals involved in the recent spate of hijackings off the Somali cost, Lord Levene believes the logistical difficulties are immense because the search would cover a huge expanse of ocean.

According to a recent report by marine insurer, The Standard Club, Somali-based pirates have been responsible for more than 60 attacks on ships since the beginning of the year, resulting in 29 hijackings and over 300 seafarers being taken hostage.

UN estimates put the total ransom money paid so far at £30 million.

The Sirius Star is laden with $100m worth of crude oil and has a crew of 25. The ransom demand is believed to be $15 million.


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