PIRATES DEMAND 4M $ RANSOM AND RELEASE OF COLLEAGUES
Mogadishu (Alshahid) – Somali pirates holding a Spanish Trawler abducted last week are demanding 4million $ ransom, said on Wednesday that contact has been made with the ship owners, a pirate commander said.
“We have had some communication and contact with the ship owners and we have told them that four million U.S. dollars have to be paid in exchange for the freedom of the ship and the crew,” Yusuf Mire, a pirate commander from the gang holding the ship told Xinhua by phone from Harardheere town, northeastern Somalia.
The towns of Harardheere and Eyl are two pirate strongholds in northeast of the war-torn Horn of Africa country
The commander said his group also demanded that of two of their colleagues captured by Spanish warships last week have to be freed before they free the Spanish fishing boat, Alakrana.
The two Somali pirates seized by Spanish navy are now in Spain for possible prosecution in Spanish courts.
“Our demands are minimal compared to what the foreign fishing boats are stealing from our seas. They are taking millions and millions of dollars worth of fish everyday,” said Yusuf who expressed hope that the Spanish government and ship owners would, as he put it, “head to our demands as soon as possible”.
The Alakrana trawler was captured on Oct. 2. Pirates have attacked vessels off Somalia about 150 times so far this year, according to the U.S. Navy. A total of 29 ships have been seized, and pirates are holding four vessels for ransom.