Negotiations for Sirius Star, ransom for HK bulker

"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[Sirius Star]," said a man identified as Farah Abd Jameh on Al-Jazeera television, 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.

His comments coincided with the release of the 1998-built, 27,383 dwt Great Creation, with 25 crew onboard, which was released today after being hijacked off Somalia on September 18.

Hong Kong’s Marine Department, which flagged the Sinotrans Shipping-owned vessel, said the ship was freed around 1000 hrs and was heading to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

A department spokesman said the crew comprising a Sri Lankan master, 23 Chinese seafarers and a Hong Kong turbine technician, were safe and the ship was undamaged.

The Great Creation was carrying chemical fertiliser from Tunisia to Pipavav in northwestern India when it was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

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