November 30, 2008
Faina release imminent?
Both Somali pirates and the actual owner of the vessel are being quoted as saying a deal has been reached to release MV Faina, the Ukrainian ship hijacked September 25 carrying a cargo that includes 33 T-72 tanks/
Agence France Press quotes someone aboard the ship calling himself Sugule Ali as saying ""I can't tell you what the ransom is, but what can I say is that agreement has finally been reached."
"Within four days, we must leave and we are preparing for the safe landing of our members," he told AFP from the ship.
Meantime, Nyna Karpachyova, the Ukrainian parliament's human rights ombudsman, has identified the actual owner of the ship as an Israeli citizen, Vadim Alperin.
The online edition of British newspaper The Independent quotes Mikhail Voitenko, described as "a spokesman for the owner, Vadim Alperin" as saying that a ransom has been agreed and that negotiations are underway on how to get the money to the pirates.
The Independent quotes Mr. Voitenko as declining to reveal the size of the agreed ransom, but saying that it was "far lower" than the initial $20 million demand.