Seems like easy money, Who wants to steal a boat and goto africa with me? Couple hundred bucks each should buy us the hardware we'd need. http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/04/27/pirates.spain.ap/index.html?iref=mpstoryview MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Somali pirates freed a Spanish fishing boat and its 26-member crew after a ransom of $1.2 million was paid, a Somali official said. Suspected pirates armed with rocket-propelled grenades had seized control of the tuna-fishing boat from Spain's Basque region last Sunday about 200 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, a region where piracy has escalated recently. The pirates released the ship Saturday, authorities said. The crew was freed after Spanish authorities paid the ransom, Abdi Khalif Ahmed, chairman of the Haradhere local port authority in central Somalia, said late Saturday. "The ship is free and the pirates disappeared into their villages," he said. Spanish officials did not confirm that a ransom was paid before Saturday's release, saying only that there had been negotiations. In Madrid, Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said Saturday that the trawler, the 250-foot-long Playa de Bakio, was sailing home escorted by a Spanish frigate. She would not comment on any ransom. She said the 13 Spaniards and 13 Africans on board the Playa de Bakio were in good health. "The 26 crew are in perfect condition and we are communicating this to the boat's owners and the families," she said. De la Vega said the release had been achieved through negotiation in London between the Spanish government, the ship owners and representatives of the hijackers. Spain had sent its most modern frigate, the Mendez Nunez, to the region, and it was now escorting the Bakio, De la Vega said. It had been on maneuvers in the Red Sea when it was diverted to the Somali coast. "We are satisfied because the crew's safety has been preserved at all times," De la Vega said. She said the crew would be relieved from duty aboard the fishing vessel "in the shortest space of time possible," to allow them to fly back to Spain. "We have taken steps so that similar situations do not happen again," De la Vega said. The area off the horn of Africa has a serious problem with piracy. The seizure came days after French judges filed preliminary charges against six Somali pirates accused of holding 30 hostages aboard a French luxury yacht for a week. The crew of the yacht Le Ponant was freed April 11 off the coast of Somalia. The ship's owners reportedly paid a ransom to get the crew released. De la Vega said the government would be taking up the subject of maritime piracy at a European Commission meeting Tuesday.