Somali pirates capture British freighter (Lead)

May 3rd, 2009 - 12:00 am ICT by IANS  

London, May 2 (DPA) Somali pirates have seized a British-owned freighter in the Indian Ocean, the ship’s agent confirmed Saturday.
The ship, with a Ukrainian crew and carrying 35,000 tonnes of soya, was seized around 250 miles south-west of the Seychelles.

On Friday the Portuguese Navy headed off an attempted hijacking of a merchant ship off the coast of Somalia, Portuguese media reports said.

The pirates were detained and weapons were seized, military officials said.

Somali pirates hijacked dozens of ships last year and collected millions of dollars in ransom from the shipping companies.

The piracy threat in Somali waters has pushed up the insurance premiums which resulted in high freight costs.

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