PARIS - SOMALI pirates said on Saturday they had received a nine million dollar (S$11.6 million) ransom in a helicopter air drop for the release of a Singapore-flagged cargo ship with 19 Chinese crew.

'The boat was freed this (Saturday) morning after the payment of nine million dollars to my colleagues,' one of the pirates told AFP by telephone.
'The money was released by helicopter and they (the pirates) are in the process of sharing it,' he said.

$11.6m ransom for vessel