Mogadishu: Somali pirates said today they
had released a Greek cargo vessel and its Ukrainian crew after
a payment of USD 3.7 million more than six months after it was
captured in the Indian Ocean.
"After serious negotiations over the past four days,
the Ariana is free after the payment of 3.7 million dollars,"
pirate Ahmed Abdullahi Mohamoud told.
"The owners of the ship were joking for a while
without understanding the seriousness of the situation," he
said by phone from Harardhere, a pirate den in northern
The Maltese-flagged vessel was seized north of
Madagascar on May 2 while on its way to the Middle East from
Brazil. It was carrying 10,000 tonnes of soya beans.
The ship is owned by the Athens-based All Ocean
Shipping company, which is in turn owned by a British