Somali pirates said yesterday they had agreed a ransom for a Greek ship hijacked in May and expected to release the vessel soon.
“We’ve agreed to take a $3.5 million ransom to release a Greek ship. We are just waiting for the money,” pirate Hassan told Reuters by phone from the coastal town of Haradheere.
“We shall get down from the ship in the coming 48 hours, if not earlier. That is, as soon as we get the cash. The crew is safe and the negotiation is over, although it has taken a long time.”
The Ariana was seized on May 2 north of Madagascar en route to the Middle East from Brazil with 24 Ukrainian crew aboard. The ship, flying a Maltese flag, belongs to All Oceans shipping in Greece.
Pirates have plagued busy shipping lanes off the coast of Somalia for several years. Foreign warships from 16 countries are in the area to try to prevent hijackings.
Eight vessels are being held off the coast of Somalia.
Pic: Somali pirates