Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Three Ships Hijacked

As reported HERE

Somali pirates seize Thai vessels
Tue, 20 Apr 2010 15:44:10 GMT

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File photo of a group of captured Somali pirates
The unrelenting Somali pirates have hijacked three Thai fishing vessels with 77 crew members over the weekend, raising fears over the expansion of their territory.

The spokesman for the EU anti-piracy naval force to Somalia, Commander John Harbour, confirmed the hijackings for Press TV on Tuesday.

“This was in the Indian Ocean but far away from the east coast of Africa…This is the farthest hijacking to date. They are now operating near the Maldives and India,” said Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the Kenya-base maritime watchdog, East African Seafarers' Assistance Program.

The three ships — named Prantalay 11, 12 and 14 — belong to a Thai-based company, PT Interfishery Ltd. The pirate-held vessels were reportedly heading towards the Somali coast.

The Thai crew members are believed to be in good health.

The naval mission patrolling the area since December 2008 has failed to stop the spread of piracy in one of the world's most important trade routes.

The bold sea bandits are now launching more and more attacks south to the Seychelles and farther out towards India as piracy has turned into a lucrative business with cash ransoms worth millions of dollars.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, Somali pirates were responsible for more than half of the reported global piracy attempts in 2009, and nearly all of the hijackings, with 47 successful captures.

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