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Institute of Transportation, MOTC

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Trans. Planning Journal

Title A Study on the Nature of Pirate Ransoms in Marine
Author Wen-Jui Tseng
Summary   From 2008 to 2012, 312 actual hijacks had been recorded by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). Once a vessel has been hijacked, the stakes are raised by the pirates’ escalating demands for larger sums of ransom money to release both vessels and crews. Piracy affects the entire shipping industry, i.e. a ransom paid for the purposes of releasing a ship and cargo from pirates. Payment of ransoms has no longer been considered illegal since the Ransom Act 1782 was repealed. Thus, ransoms were paid for the purposes of minimizing damages covered by the policy. In the case of cargo-carrying ships, it is likely that the ship-owner and cargo-owner will share a common interest in the preservation of both; the payment of a ransom therefore constitutes a generally normal act. Where a vessel is in ballast, the payment of a ransom by ship-owner can be recoverable as a legal or labor expense, but it is likely to fall foul of the requirement of voluntariness in the definition of salvage in traditional maritime law, as well as salvage charges provided in Section 65(2) of the Marine Insurance Act 1906.
Vol. 43
No. 3
Page 315
Year 2014
Month 9
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