Information leak allowed Faina seizure

As the crew of the released cargo ship Faina has arrived in Ukraine, scandalous details concerning the alleged information leak surface, Russia Today reported.

Russian daily Kommersant reports pirates received a phone call from the Ukrainian port of Odessa prior to the capture. The phone number, though, belongs to a Georgian cell operator, Ukrainian security services told Kommersant under the condition of anonymity. They also said that pirates got $US 4 million in ransom instead of $US 3.2 million reported earlier.

According to the paper, information leaks occurred in the course of the four months of Faina's captivity and were from a high-ranking source.

Kommersant also reports there were attempts by foreign intelligence to protract release talks in order to squeeze Ukraine from the African weapons market. A document the daily managed to get hold of does not specify the countries, but its unnamed source claims Russian security services were involved.

The intervention of Ukraine's political parties allegedly hampered the talks with the pirates. Originally they demanded $US 2 million, but when the ransom was raised pirates were informed that the Ukrainian authorities were ready to pay more and the deal failed.

Faina, carrying 33 tanks, grenade launchers and a large amount of ammunition onboard, was captured on September 25, 2008 in the Indian Ocean. On February 3 a ransom was paid and the ship freed. On Thursday it reached the Kenyan port of Mombassa from where the crew was then flown to the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

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