Ransom Payments to Pirates Protected

Nautilus has welcomed a UK government pledge not to outlaw the payment of ransoms to secure the release of seafarers held hostage by pirates. The Union had written to ministers to express concerns over the potential for proposed new counter-terrorism laws to restrict or prevent future general average or kidnap and ransom policy payments to secure the release of ships and seafarers held by pirates. In a response to Nautilus, Home Office minister James Brokenshire says the government intends to maintain the distinction between ransom payments made to criminals and those made to terrorists. ‘The situation is different in piracy cases…doing so is not illegal under UK law.’