Mogadishu: Somali pirates are sending politely-worded ransom letters to the owners of vessels they hijack, while outlining what they need to do to get their ships back, and surprisingly, its written in a courteous and business-like tone.
According to the New York Daily News, the letters read: “Addressed ‘To Whom It May Concern’” with the subject line “Congratulation to the Company/Owner”, the letter hopes to ‘welcome’ them to the Pirate Action Group.”
“Do not imagine that we are making to you intimidation,” the pirates write awkwardly in English.
The letters end with a ‘best regards’ from Jamal Faahiye Culusow, the general commander of the group.
The letters are stamped at the bottom, which includes a skull and crossed swords. The letter is part of a larger packet of paperwork sent to the pirates’ victims, and includes the group’s personal letterhead.
A ransom negotiation expert said it makes sense for the pirates, as thieving and dangerous as they may be, to want to appear professional.
“If they present themselves and behave as someone who will live up to their commitment to give us the package in good condition, we are much more likely to go ahead and pay the ransom easily and efficiently,” the report quoted Derek ST Baldwin, director of worldwide operations for IBIS International, as saying.
“However, if they come off as ‘disorganised loons’, they stand an awful lot better chance of having an extraction team show up on their front porch and shoot them,” Baldwin added.
Four Americans were shot dead last year and others were tortured in cases linked to Mohammad Saaili Shibin, a captured high-ranking Somali pirate, who was ordered by a federal judge to serve a dozen life sentences, the report added.