On Friday afternoon pirates in control of the African Sanderling, a large cargo ship anchored off Somalia, were lazing in the sun waiting for their ransom money when the telephone on the bridge rang.
Muhammad, the man who answered, was rather polite for a pirate from a heavily armed gang that had seized the ship last month. “Plizz, excuse me,” he said, sounding more Cap’n Jack Sparrow than bloodthirsty Blackbeard. “Who are you?”
After The Sunday Times explained that it was calling to find out what was happening to the hijacked vessel, Muhammad was as helpful as his mangled English allowed.
“The ship, the crew and the captain is okay. No problem. Only problem, money.”