Exclusive: Six pirates detained after French luxury yacht freed with crew

debkafile‘s shipping correspondent reports that the CMA-CGM company, owners of the luxury yacht Le Ponant seized in Somali waters a week ago, did not deny paying ransom for the release of the 32-member crew and yacht. At the same time, the elite French GIGN force was able to capture 6 of the 10 pirates after a brief exchange of fire on the shore near the Somali town of Garacad and put them aboard the French helicopter carrier Jean d’Arc, which was standing by.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy voiced deep gratitude to the French armed forces for the peaceful conclusion of the episode.
The French operation to rescue the crew – 22 Frenchmen, including 6 women; the rest Ukrainian and Korean – was approved by the Somali provincial government. The yacht, which was seized without passengers, is on its way to Djibouti, crewed by French naval seamen.

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