Official: Pirates were paid $1.2M ransom!!!

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP)Somali pirates freed a Spanish fishing boat and its 26-member crew after a ransom of $1.2 million was paid, a Somali official said.

The Playa de Bakio was the latest vessel to be targeted by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Suspected pirates armed with rocket-propelled grenades had seized control of the tuna-fishing boat from Spain’s Basque region last Sunday about 200 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, a region where piracy has escalated recently.

The pirates released the ship Saturday, authorities said.

The crew was freed after Spanish authorities paid the ransom, Abdi Khalif Ahmed, chairman of the Haradhere local port authority in central Somalia, said late Saturday.

“The ship is free and the pirates disappeared into their villages,” he said.

Spanish officials did not confirm that a ransom was paid before Saturday’s release, saying only that there had been negotiations.



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