Brother's plea to release kidnap couple
THE brother of a woman kidnapped with her husband by Somali pirates has spoken to their captors in a bid to get them released.Paul Chandler, 58, and his wife Rachel, 55, went missing last month while sailing their yacht through waters near Somalia notorious for pirate attacks.
THE brother of a woman kidnapped with her husband by Somali pirates has spoken to their captors in a bid to get them released.
Paul Chandler, 58, and his wife Rachel, 55, went missing last month while sailing their yacht through waters near Somalia notorious for pirate attacks.
Last night footage was broadcast which showed the couple speaking on camera for the first time to warn their captors are “losing patience” and could kill them within a week.
It was revealed that their captors allowed them to speak to journalists on the phone, and during one conversation Mrs Chandler's brother Stephen Collett, of Ixworth, near Bury St Edmunds, made a direct appeal to the pirates to release them.
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In the film, Mr and Mrs Chandler, who are surrounded by men brandishing machine guns, said they were unharmed and in reasonable physical health but that the kidnappers were losing patience.
Mr Chandler urged the government to start negotiations over a ransom and said: “I have no doubt that they will not hesitate to kill us, perhaps between a week or so of now if there is no response.”
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The Chandlers disappeared on October 23 as they sailed from the Seychelles in their 38ft yacht towards Tanzania.
Four days later a news agency was contacted by a pirate called Hassan who said he had the couple captive and ransom demands would follow.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said last night: “We are aware of the video. Any such video will be distressing for the family.
“The UK Government's policy is clear: We do not make substantive concessions to hostage takers, including the payment of ransoms.
“These are innocent tourists. We seek the immediate release of Paul and Rachel.”