More Ships Hijacked, Piracy Acts Becoming More Audacious Each Day

November 19, 2008

(ChattahBox) — After stealing the Saudi Arabian oil tanker, MV Sirius Star, two more ships have been hijacked by the pirates in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates hijacked a Thai fishing boat with 16 crew members on Tuesday off the coast of Somalia. 8 ships have been hijacked in last 12 days and the US and other naval forces have decided against intervening in the seizure of the super tanker.

According to Noel Choong, Head of International Maritime Bureau, the Thai fishing boat was seized in the same area as the Iranian tanker. Both the vessels were heading towards Middle East when they were attacked. The Thai boat operated out of Thailand and was flying a Kiribati flag when it was seized. It made a distressed call late on Monday when the phone lines got disconnected. It was chased by two speedboats driven by the pirates.

Choong said that there are still 17 vessels with more than 300 crew members that have been hijacked by the pirates and are still being held for ransom. These vessels also include the Ukrainian vessel carrying arms and ammunition and the Saudi Arabian oil tanker carrying $100 million worth of crude oil.

Hijackers have started negotiations with the shipping company for the ransom, reported TV news Channel, Al-Jazeera. “Negotiators are located on board the ship and on land. Once they have agreed on the ransom, it will be taken in cash to the oil tanker,” said the man identified as Farah Abd Jameh, who did not indicate the amount to be paid.

“We assure the safety of the ship that carries the ransom. We will mechanically count the money and we have machines that can detect fake money,” the man said on an audio tape produced by the Dubai-based television network.


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