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Somali pirates hijack Singapore ship with 25 Indonesian crew SINGAPORE - Somali pirates on Saturday hijacked a Singapore-flagged ship off the coast of Kenya with more than two dozen crew members on board, most of them Indonesians, officials said on Sunday.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in a statement that the chemical tanker MT Gemini was boarded by pirates about 120 nautical miles (222 kilometers) from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. It is owned by Glory Ship Management Pte Ltd.

MPA said a distress call was received from the ship at around 11.50 a.m. Singapore time on Saturday when the MT Gemini was on her way from Kuala Tanjung in Indonesia to Mombasa in Kenya.

According to Paddy O'Kennedy, a spokesman for the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), the tanker is carrying a total of 25 crew members. Of them, 13 are Indonesian, 5 are Chinese, 4 are from South Korea, and 3 are from Myanmar (Burma).

The condition of the crew members was not immediately known, although Somali pirates do usually not harm their hostages. The owner of the vessel did not respond to requests for comment.

Somali pirates are currently holding at least 23 vessels with 518 hostages off the coast of Somalia, according to EUNAVFOR. The piracy monitoring group Ecoterra, however, says pirates are holding at least 49 vessels and 768 hostages.

In recent years, Somali pirates have hijacked hundreds of ships, taking in hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom. Ships are patrolling the shipping lanes near Somalia in an effort to reduce hijackings, but the anti-piracy force has warned that attacks are likely to continue.

Most hijackings usually end without casualties when a ransom has been paid. This, however, often takes many months. The longest currently ongoing hijacking, according to EUNAVFOR, is that of the Panama-flagged MV Iceberg 1 which was hijacked on March 29, 2010, with 24 crew members. One of the hostages has since committed suicide while others are said to be mentally ill.

According to a recent study, maritime piracy cost the global economy up to $12 billion last year, with Somalia-based pirates responsible for 95 percent of the costs.


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13 April 2011 · Indonesia: 'No use of military force against Somali pirates'
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11 April 2011 · Indonesia negotiates release of 22 hostages with Somali pirates
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Related blog entries (category 'Crime') Tags: pirates, hijack, Indonesian, freigher, Somalia


Posted in Crime @ 01 May 2011 19:49 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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