October 10, 2008

Somali Pirates to Negotiate Only With Owners of Faina Cargo – Media

MOSCOW. Oct 10 (Interfax) - Somali pirates who hijacked the Faina vessel carrying arms have put forward a new demand, saying that they will negotiate only with the owner of arms rather than the ship.

Muhammad, one of the pirates, told the ship owner a day earlier that they are interested in a ransom for arms rather than the ship, because they can see the difference between the price of the ship and its cargo, Maritime Bulletin Sovfracht said in a statement.

The ship owner was not allowed to speak with crewmembers, the statement reads. The pirate said that they want to talk only with the seller of the arms or the ship owner if he is authorized by the seller.

The talks on the ransom have continued. It has varied from $20 million to $8 million.

It was reported earlier that pirates hijacked The Faina ship with 33 T-72 tanks and other military hardware for Kenya aboard. There were 17 Ukrainians, three Russians and a Latvian among crewmembers. It was reported on September 28 that the captain, a Russian national, died because of hypertensive emergency.

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