The Chief of Libya’s Intelligence Department in Tripoli, Mustafa Noah, said it is untrue that the Italian authorities paid a ransom worth 13 million euros in exchange of the four Italian technicians who work for Mellitah Oil & Gas Company in western Tripoli.

Italian Corriere della Sera said on Monday that Libyan intelligence confirmed that Italy was neck-deep in paying off a ransom (13 million euros) to see the release of the four Italian hostages.

In a press statement, Noah hit back at the Italian newspaper, saying all what it reported is “untrue” and that the release of the Italians was done by the Libyan intelligence singlehandedly.

“We hail the undivided cooperation of the Italian intelligence with the Libyan counterpart in Tripoli and we are convinced that the continuity of the cooperation will result in positive outcomes regarding rooting out terrorism from Libya and Europe.” Noah continued.

Late in 2015, four Italian nationals were abducted by IS militants nearby Sabratha city in western Tripoli in the vicinity of Milletah Oil & Gas Company. On March 04, 2016, a Sabratha security unit managed to free two of the four hostages, while the other two were killed by the terrorists.