Pirates Demand $25M for Saudi Supertanker

Saudis have ten days to pay up to save crew and oil
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2008 2:37 AM CST
The Sirius Star supertanker, which has been commandeered by pirates off the Somali coast. The pirates are demanding $25 million in ransom.   (AP Photo/Christian Duys)
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(Newser) – Pirates who seized a Saudi supertanker and its crew have demanded a $25 million ransom from its owners within 10 days, reports the Guardian. The Sirius Star, which is carrying 2 million barrels of oil, is one of an astounding 17 ships being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia.  

"We do not want long-term discussions to resolve this matter," declared a a pirate chieftain calling himself Mohammed Said. "The Saudis have 10 days to comply, otherwise we will take action that could be disastrous." Sinking the vessel could release the oil and trigger an environmental disaster along the Somalia coast.