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Somali Pirates Demand Ransom for Hijacked vessel.

Somali pirates, who hijacked the Comoros-flagged bunkering tanker Aris 13 off the coast of Somalia, are demanding a ransom for the ship’s release, EU Naval Force confirmed.

This is a follow up of the attack carried out on March 13 by the Somali Pirates. The first attack since 2012.

For full story: The return of the Somali Pirates.

The EU Naval Force informed that the master of the 1,800 dwt Aris 13 tanker confirmed that the ship and crew are being held captive by a number of suspected armed pirates in an anchorage off the north coast of Puntland, close to Alula.

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Upon confirmation of the attack an EU Naval Force maritime patrol aircraft was launched to overfly the tanker and make radio contact with the ship’s master.

Despite hailing the ship several times, no contact was made and the situation on board remained unclear until the EU Naval Force operational HQ was able to make telephone contact with the ship’s master in the late afternoon of March 14.

The master confirmed that armed men were on board the ship and they were demanding a ransom for the ship’s release. The EU Naval Force has now passed the information regarding the incident to the ship’s owners.

The attack on the vessel occurred while the 1990-built tanker was on its way from Sri Lanka’s port of Colombo to the Mogadishu port in Somalia.

Gerry Northwood OBE, COO at MAST, a maritime risk management consultancy, and former Royal Navy counter piracy commander, told World Maritime News that it was very likely that such an attack was going to occur with the current political situation in Somalia and the increasing confidence of those transiting through the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

“The characteristics of the hijack are similar to some of the early piracy activity we saw around 2005, and those responsible will have analysed the changing economic and political situation around them and decided that now was an opportune time to launch an attack,” Northwood said.

Source : worldmaritimenews

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