Somali pirates have hijacked a Greek-owned oil tanker with 17 crew members onboard off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea, Press TV reports.
MT SMYRNI, carrying a cargo of 135,000 metric tons of crude oil, was en route Turkey on Thursday when pirate gangs stormed the vessel, according to a statement released by the ship’s operator company.
“At approximately 1115 UTC (1150 GMT) on 10 May, 2012, an oil tanker managed by Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd. was reported hijacked while it was transiting the Arabian Sea,” said the statement.
No communications have been received from the Liberian-flagged Suezmax-class tanker since the vessel was stormed by the pirates, the statement added.
Dynacom says its top priorities are the safe return of the ship and crew, nine Indians and eight Filipinos, and the integrity of the cargo.
The piracy-infested waters are one of the world’s busiest shipping routes where more than 20,000 ships transit the waters annually.
Attacks by heavily armed Somali pirates sailing on speedboats have prompted some of the world’s largest shipping firms to switch routes from the Suez Canal and reroute cargo vessels around Southern Africa, which leads to more shipping costs.
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