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Pirates reportedly demand ransom for Saudi oil tanker

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-19

Al Jazeera has issued an audio tape presented as a message from one of the pirates who captured a huge Saudi oil supertanker on Monday. The group demands an unspecified ransom, and claims to have machines that detect fake money.

Somali pirates are demanding a ransom for the Saudi super-tanker Sirius Star, a man presented as one of the pirates said Wednesday, according to an Al-Jazeera audio tape.

"Negotiators are located on board the ship and on land. Once they have agreed on the ransom, it will be taken in cash to the oil tanker," said the man identified as Farah Abd Jameh, who did not indicate the amount to be paid.

"We assure the safety of the ship that carries the ransom. We will mechanically count the money and we have machines that can detect fake money," the man said on an audio tape produced by the Dubai-based television network.

Seized at the weekend in the Indian Ocean some 500 miles (800 kilometres) off the coast of Kenya, the Sirius Star is now anchored at the Somali pirate lair of Harardhere, according to local officials.

The super-tanker was loaded to capacity with two million barrels of oil when it was seized along with its crew of 25 -- 19 from the Philippines, two from Britain, two from Poland, one Croatian and one Saudi.

It was the largest ship yet taken by Somali pirates and the attack furthest away from Somalia.

 

Date created : 2008-11-19