x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Pirates seize ship en route from UAE

Sixth time a vessel on its way to or from UAE is hijacked by Somali pirates

Somali pirates seized a South Korean tanker and its 21-man crew en route from UAE to Sri Lanka yesterday.

This seizure marks the second hijacking in one week of a ship travelling from UAE ports.

The MT Samho Jewelry is a Malta-flagged, 19,000-tonne vessel owned by Samho Shipping and is carrying chemicals. Its crew included eight men from South Korean, two from Indonesia and 11 from Myanmar, according to the EU Naval Force Somalia (EU Navfor) which, along with several other navies, conducts counter-piracy operations in the area.

According to EU Navfor, the vessel had not registered its intended route with either the EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (EU MSC-HOA) or UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO). Both bodies help navies patrolling the area to track commercial vessels' whereabouts as they pass through risky waters.

Only two months ago, Somali pirates released an oil supertanker, Samho Dream, owned by the same company, Samho Shipping.

Last week, a dhow and its 14 Indian crewmen delivering food from Dubai to Salalah, Oman, were also captured and rerouted to Somalia.

Altogether the pirates are holding about 30 ships and 700 seafarers, according to the International Maritime Bureau. Six of the vessels had been travelling to or from the UAE and four are owned by UAE firms.