Somali pirates strike again:
Another group of Lankans held
Twenty three Lankans among crew of 25:
Somalian pirates seized a British Virgin Island cargo ship carrying a
Bermudian Flag with 23 Sri Lankans of the 25 crew on board. The vessel
was seized off the Oman coast Tuesday.
A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said they were informed that a
British Virgin Island cargo ship was believed to have been hijacked by
the Somalian pirates with 25 crew of which 23 were Sri Lankans adding
that however that the ownership of the cargo ship captured by the
pirates was yet to be confirmed.
The ship was seized off the coast of Oman, 120 nautical miles south
of Mazera on Tuesday. The crew of 23 Sri Lankans, a Filipino and a
Syrian were held along with the 11,000-ton Bermudan-flagged Talca which
had been heading for Iran from Egypt.
The Foreign Ministry is trying to verify the ship owner. “Since the
ship was carrying the Bermuda flag, we are unable to confirm whether the
ship belongs to the British Virgin Islands. We must figure out the
ownership of the ship,” the spokesperson told the Daily News.
After identifying the origin of the ship, foreign missions in the
respective countries will take over the responsibility to handle the
Sri Lanka has no foreign mission in Bermuda. If the cargo ship
belongs to Bermuda, there will be a technical problem to handle the
matter, the spokesperson said.
The pirates went into action after the cargo ship had passed through
an internationally recommended transit corridor which is patrolled by
warships and maritime patrol aircraft from the EU Navfor, NATO, Combined
Maritime Forces and other Navies. Meanwhile, a Turkish-owned cargo ship
was seized by suspected Somalian pirates Tuesday in the Indian Ocean,
well outside a patrolled zone. The Maltese-flagged Frigia had a mainly
Turkish crew of 21.
The Sri Lanka mission in Saudi Arabia is making all efforts to seek
the release of 13 Sri Lankans who were captured by Somalian pirates in
the Gulf of Aden in early March.
Al-Nisr Al-Saudi was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden with a 14-member
crew aboard which include 13 Sri Lankans and the ships’ Greek captain
The tanker owned by International Bunkering Co. (IBCO) was on its way
from Japan to Jeddah when it was hijacked. The hijackers have demanded a
$20 million ransom. The ship is anchored off the Somalian coast.