Pirates who seized a German gas tanker in the Gulf of Aden are demanding 6 million dollars for the vessel's release, sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on Monday.
A spokesman for the German operators of the MV Longchamp declined to confirm the demand.
The captain of the 3,500-ton ship had reportedly expressed fears for the safety of the 13-member crew - 12 Filipinos and one Indonesian - if the hijacking is not resolved peacefully, reported dpa.
The pirates on board the tanker contacted the Hamburg-based Bernhard Schulte ship management company Saturday, two days after seizing the vessel.
The tanker, transporting liquefied petroleum gas, was seized on Thursday morning, en route from Europe to the Far East.
The 100-metre-long vessel belongs to MPC Steamship, a branch of a German investment group, a spokesman for the company in Hamburg said.
The MPC spokesman said the ship had passed through the Suez Canal and waited for a day to join a convoy under Indian naval protection as it passed through pirate-infested waters.
However, the Indians could not prevent pirates from seizing the vessel, despite engaging the attackers in a firefight which left two pirates and one crew member injured.
The vessel was then steered away to the Somali coast.