Naharnet

Greek-owned Tanker Hijacked in Arabian Sea

A Greek-owned tanker has been hijacked in the Arabian Sea with a cargo of 135,000 tons of crude oil, the operating company said on Friday.

"At approximately 1115 GMT on 10 May, 2012, an oil tanker managed by Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd. was reported hijacked while it was transiting the Arabian Sea," the Athens-based company said.

The Liberian-flagged tanker Smyrni is carrying a cargo of 135,000 metric tons of crude oil, the company said, adding that "all relevant authorities" had been notified.

"No communications have been received from the ship since the ship was boarded," Dynacom said.

"Dynacom Tanker Management's top priorities are the safe return of the ship and crew and the integrity of the cargo," it said.

The ship had sailed from Turkey, was seized 300 nautical miles east of Oman and was heading toward Somalia, the Athens News Agency reported.

Kalashnikov-wielding pirates prowl far out across the Indian Ocean from their bases in war-torn northern Somalia, seizing foreign ships which they hold for several months demanding multi-million dollar ransoms.

The sea route off Somalia is considered the most dangerous in the world. Last year alone saw around 230 pirate attacks.

The EU's Operation Atalanta has deployed between five and 10 warships off the Somali coast since 2008 to escort humanitarian aid shipments and thwart pirate raids on commercial vessels using vital shipping lanes.

EU foreign ministers in March agreed to extend the mission until December 2014.

Source: Agence France Presse


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