Image: Crew of hijacked ship
Jason R. Zalasky  /  AP file
The crew of the hijacked merchant vessel MV Faina were brought on deck after a U.S. Navy request to check on their health and welfare off the coast of Somalia in November.
updated 2/4/2009 4:56:15 PM ET 2009-02-04T21:56:15

A spokesman for the owner of a Ukrainian ship carrying heavy weapons has told a Russian news agency that a $3.2 million ransom was delivered to the Somali pirates who seized it five months ago.

ITAR-Tass quotes Mikhail Voitenko as saying the money was handed over. Calls to Voitenko went unanswered.

A person involved in the negotiations tells The Associated Press that a plane carrying the ransom left Kenya's capital Wednesday afternoon. The man spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. He offered no further details.

The ship was carrying 33 tanks and other weapons when it was seized off the Somali coast. The pirates originally demanded $20 million.

Pirates attack some 100 ships off Somalia last year.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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