Company defends decision not to pay ransom

Friday, February 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- A Tulsa drilling company is defending its decision not to pay an initial ransom demand to free two employees kidnapped in Ecuador.

One of the workers was found shot to death last week.

Relatives of the two kidnapped employees have urged officials of Helmerich and Payne to pay the ransom.

But company president Steve Mackey says paying the initial ransom wasn't an option.

Mackey says if the company had paid the initial demand, it would have prolonged the situation and possibly had negative effects.

Mackey says the company has been following the advice of expert hostage negotiators since the October 12th raid.

He says the company understands the frustration of the families.

But he says there aren't any simple solutions.