Paul and Rachel Chandler, both in their 50s, were kidnapped while they sailed their 38-foot (12-metre) yacht Lynn Rival in international waters north of the Seychelles last October.
"We have received $430,000 (286,490 pounds), which is part of the $800,000 ransom agreed to pay to the pirates, from the family, and they sent this money through an agent," said Ali Osman Suge.
The elders were expecting Somalis living in Britain to send the remainder of the money during the weekend, he told Reuters.Somalis in Britain, which has been their refuge from the anarchic Horn of Africa country, have contributed some money as a gesture of goodwill for the Chandlers. They have also rallied for the couple's release, holding demonstrations and media appeals."Now, we are waiting for the Somali community in Britain to send their contribution on either Saturday or Sunday so that we can secure their safe release," the elder said.The pirates had demanded a $7 million ransom for the couple, but reduced the figure to less than $1 million.The gangs, some made up of former fisherman angered by the presence of foreign fishing fleets in Somali waters, have made tens of millions of dollars in ransoms by seizing ships and crews.
(Reporting by Mohamed Ahmed; Writing by Abdiaziz Hassan, Editing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura
Last October, the Chandlers were kidnapped by pirates in the Indian Ocean just off the Seychelles, hundreds of miles from Somalia. Freelance Somali journalist, Jamal Osman, met the couple at a secret location somewhere between the towns of Adado and Haradhere and miles from any human settlement.