Pirates demand $25 million for Sirius StarÆs release
Pirates that seized the fully laden super tanker Sirius Star off the coast of Kenya over the weekend are reportedly demanding $25 million in ransom for release of the ship.
The news agency AFP quoted a man calling himself Mohamed Said as saying the pirates would take action that could be “disastrous” if the money is not paid. There are 25 crewmembers on board: two British, two Polish, a Croatian, a Saudi and 19 Philippines nationals.
The very large crude carrier is owned by Vela International Marine Ltd., an affiliate of Saudi Aramco, which said the ship is believed to be at anchor off the coast of Somalia. The company said the ship was seized earlier by a group of armed pirates about 420 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.
London’s Guardian newspaper said British Foreign Secretary David Miliband indicated his country will not pay a ransom for the two British crewmembers held hostage.
“There is a strong view of the British government, and actually the international community, that payments for hostage-taking are only an encouragement to further hostage-taking and we will be approaching this issue in a very delicate way, in a way that puts the security and safety of the hostages to the fore,” said Miliband, as quoted in the Guardian.
The Sirius Star was carrying about $100 million worth of oil when it was hijacked.