Pirates hijack Singaporean tanker off Kenya
SINGAPORE—A Singapore-registered chemical tanker with 25 crew on board is thought to have been boarded by pirates and is heading towards Somalia, the vessel’s owner said Sunday.
The MT Gemini “was believed to have been hijacked by pirates… on 30 April at 12:33 pm Singapore time (0433 GMT),” a press release by Singapore firm Glory Ship Management stated.
The vessel was carrying over 28,000 tonnes (31,000 tons) of crude palm oil from Indonesia to Kenya when it was boarded just off Kenyan waters, and is “heading towards Somalia”, the release added.
Glory said it last communicated with the crew – comprising 13 Indonesians, three Myanmar nationals, five Chinese and four South Koreans – early afternoon Singapore time on April 30 before contact was cut off.
No mention of a ransom was made in the press release, but the Singapore firm said it “will make every effort to secure their release”.
“The company is keeping the appropriate Singapore and international authorities fully informed of the situation,” the company said in the statement.
In November last year, a Singapore-flagged cargo ship with 19 Chinese crew which had been hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia five months before was freed after sources said a ransom of several million dollars was paid.
Heavily armed pirates using speedboats operate in and around the Gulf of Aden where they prey on ships, sometimes holding vessels for weeks before releasing them for large ransoms paid by governments or shipowners.
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