Somali Pirates Score $3.2M Ransom, Release Arms Ship

Pirates receive $3.2M ransom after September hijacking
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 5, 2009 8:00 AM CST
In this photo released by the US Navy on Nov. 10, 2008, the crew of the MV Faina stand on the deck after a US Navy request to check on their health and welfare, off the coast of Somalia, Nov. 9.   (AP Photo/Jason R. Zalasky)
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(Newser) – Crime does pay—to the tune of the $3.2 million ransom that Somali pirates collected today in exchange for releasing a Ukrainian ship they hijacked in September, reports the BBC. The pirates had initially sought $20 million for the arms-laden MV Faina, which had been en route to Kenya. The 20-member crew is safe and healthy, the Ukraine presidency said.

“We have released MV Faina. There were only three boys remaining and they delayed the release for one hour, but now the ship is free,” a pirate told AFP. “No huge amount has been paid, but something to cover our expenses.” But questions remain over the weapons aboard: while Kenya lays claim to them, the ship’s manifest suggests they were going to Sudan.