Somali Pirates Say $20M Ransom Will ‘Never’ Be Reduced

MOGADISHU, Somalia —  A Somali pirate spokesman says his group will not release a hijacked Ukrainian cargo ship loaded with arms for less than $20 million.

Sugule Ali told the Associated Press the pirates would “never” decrease the ransom of the Ukrainian freighter loaded with 33 Soviet-designed tanks and other weapons. The MV Faina was seized Sept. 25 and is now anchored off the coast of central Somalia.

Ali advised that any attempt at deception or commando raids on the ship would be met with consequences.

Pirates off Somalia’s lawless coast have raked in up to $30 million in ransoms this year alone, a London-based think tank reported.

U.S. navy warships have surrounded the MV Faina to ensure that the pirates don’t discharge any of the weapons.