Abdel Rahman Selim al-Awwa, reputedly the owner of the "Blue Star" ship, registered as BLUE STAR 7706770 Basseterre, St.Kitts-Nevis (SKN-flag) by Novstar Shipping and Marine Services Dubai as from Egypt, denied reports by the media that the ship and its crew of 28 Egyptians would be released within hours.
"These reports are groundless. So far, we haven't agreed with the Somali pirates on how to give them the ransom.
"The pirates demanded that the ransom be dropped by a helicopter into the water and said that once they took the ransom, they would release the ship.
"We rejected this idea and told the pirates that we would not give them the ransom this way. We asked to give them the ransom in a neutral zone through our respective representatives when the ship would start moving," al-Awwa said.
Al-Awwa said he would not give the pirates the ransom while they are still controlling the ship. What is the guarantee that they will release the ship and its crew after that," he wondered?
French sources mentioned $US1 million ransom, and elsewhere $3 million got play.
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