Somali pirates seize Greek carrier with 22,000 tonnes of urea

11 November 2009 17:30  [Source: ICIS news]

A captured pirate vessel following a highjacking of another boat in MayLONDON (ICIS news)--Somali pirates have captured a Greek bulk carrier with a cargo of 22,000 tonnes of urea in the south Somali basin of the Indian Ocean, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) confirmed on Wednesday.

IMB spokesperson Cyrus Mody and a South Africa-based fertilizer importer said that the seized ship was the MV Filitsa.

The fertilizer importer said the ship was carrying a Kuwaiti urea cargo destined for two receivers in South Africa.

“The Gulf of Aden is heavily guarded by international forces, which has made it difficult for the pirates to hijack vessels there. However, it appears that they have now shifted their focus back onto the eastern part of Somalia,” said Mody.

There have been no ransom demands made but it is expected that the vessel will be taken to Eyl, the pirates’ enclave.

The end of the monsoon season and Ramadan has meant a pick-up in pirate activity along the east coast of Africa, Mody added.

“We are expecting more incidents along the east coast of Africa from now on. But how many attacks translate to actual hijackings, we will have to wait and see,” said Mody.

Seafarers are advised to maintain a lookout at all times and be vigilant when transiting areas that are notorious for piracy, according to the IMB.

Somalia has no central government and armed militias are often involved in supporting piracy in what is regarded as one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world.

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By: Dan Horlock
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