Contentious release: MV Albedo owner accuses Chinoy of scam

Published: August 9, 2012
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MV Albedo. PHOTO: FILE

MV Albedo. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

Once home, it ought to have been a happily-ever-after for the survivors of MV Albedo, and those who negotiated their release. However, the Iranian owner of the Malaysian vessel, Omid Khosrojerdi has expressed his reservation on the release.

He accused Citizens Police Liaison Committee chief Ahmed Chinoy of lying about the total amount of ransom paid to the Somali pirates to set free seven Pakistani crew members.

“Mr Chinoy paid only $317,000 to the pirates and not $1.1 million as he claims,” Khosrojerdi told The Express Tribune from Malaysia.

Khosrojerdi said he now is in touch with the pirates to free the rest of the crew members.

He said the information about the total ransom paid by Chinoy was given to him by the pirates themselves and he also checked with his sources in the Malaysian Security Council.

The vessel owner said that while he was happy that the lives of seven crew members were saved, “unfortunately, it has put the lives of the rest of the crew in a dangerous situation.”

The MV Albedo had 22 crew members, including seven Pakistanis, seven Bangladeshi, six Sri Lankans, an Indian and an Iranian. The Indian sailor died after the vessel was taken hostage by the pirates.

The seven Pakistani captive crew of the vessel, including Captain Jawaid Saleem, arrived in Karachi on August 2 after Chinoy struck a deal with the pirates for their release.

Chinoy rubbishes claims

Chinoy, when contacted, rubbished Khosrojerdi’s claims and in turn accused him of corruption.

“An entire amount of $1.1 million collected through our public campaign was spent for the release of the seven Pakistani crew members,” he said.

The CPLC chief said there was no chance to negotiate for less than $1.1 million with the pirates. The release of Pakistani crew members was achieved after tough negotiations, he said.

Chinoy also asked why the vessel owner did not contribute a single dollar to get the captives released when negotiations were taking place.

“Omid was ready to bribe certain officials and pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars, but when it came to giving money for the fund, he told me he will not give a single penny,” he said.

He added that he was not afraid of any legal action anywhere in the world.

Bad history

Last year, the CPLC chief had been assigned by the vessel owner to negotiate on his behalf with the pirates to have the entire crew released.

However, relations between Khosrojerdi and Chinoy broke down after each side accused the other of backtracking on their commitments to pay their share in the total ransom.

The pirates had demanded $2.85 million for the crew’s release, out of which Pakistan was expected to pay $1.6 million, while the rest was supposed to be taken care of by the owner and Malaysian authorities.

However, when Chinoy said the fundraising campaign had raised only $1.1 million, and not $1.6 million as earlier declared.

There is no way of independently verifying exactly how much ransom money was paid though.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Nareman Jawaid
    Aug 9, 2012 - 12:04PM

    Disgusted to see such baseless information being quoted. Sad to see that the one man who is truly loyal to his nation and the result of that is infront of the whole nation is still being accused of scam. the owner of the vessel is a liar and a cheat due to which it took two years for the pakistani crew to be released and the reason why teh remaining 15 are still stuck tere. it was not the responsiblity of CPLC to release MV ALBEDO which was a malayisan flag ship, yet they voulenteered to do this on humanitarian grounds. please refer to this article published in somalia report http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/3573
    with the relevant facts. OBviously this figures are verified i SOMALIA with talks to the PIRATES themselves. Extremely sad and disappointed to see that if someone goes out to do a good deed and gets such accusations and humiliation in return.
    Also i would really appreciate if what the owner was blabbing to the media could be verified with independent sources before being published. This situation is very black and white about who is the culprit and who is the do gooder. The results are infront of us in black and white. The owner of the vessel truly is shameless / untrust worthy. Truly DIGUSTED to see what he has bee nsaying to the media.

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  • MAD
    Aug 9, 2012 - 2:23PM

    BTW i have always had suspicions about these ransom negotiations that Pakistan conducts. no transparency

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  • Sana
    Aug 9, 2012 - 4:51PM

    Can ET not verify the information it’s publishing? These are lies from the owner of MV Albedo, plain and simple. I agree with everything that Narmeen has said above.

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  • manto
    Aug 9, 2012 - 5:42PM

    Nareman obviously u r the captain’s daughter but I have no sympathies for your father. As the captain of the ship he should have been the last man standing on the deck. But instead he chose to be the first one to abandon the ship and the poor crew who are still left behind. He is no hero. Sorry but that is the truth.

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  • Cynic
    Aug 9, 2012 - 10:20PM

    test

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  • Faraz
    Aug 10, 2012 - 12:30AM

    @manto:
    put yourself in the captain’s shoes and then talk. Talk is easy and …cheap.

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  • EMal
    Aug 10, 2012 - 8:32AM

    It is simple, people from different nations were kidnapped.
    Pakistan raised funds…. Pakistanis got freed.
    Noone else raised a penny and they get to complain? and ET publishes their allegations based on pirates account who actually conducted the kidnapping!!! Boy! Journalism has come a long way since I was young!

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  • guru
    Aug 10, 2012 - 12:22PM

    I agree with Emal, very patrotic of the writer to publish this

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  • manto
    Aug 10, 2012 - 6:18PM

    I think the captain of the ship and Ahmed Chinoy both should be investigated. What is the proof of the total amount paid to the pirates?

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  • guru
    Aug 10, 2012 - 8:51PM

    I think the owner should be investigated. what proof is there that he really is bankrupt? isnt his ship insured? its easy to just hurl stones at those who actually do something to help.

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