Somali pirates hijacked 174 merchant vessels in last 3 years: Antony

March 14th, 2011 - 9:21 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Mar 14 (ANI): Defence Minister A K Antony on Monday informed that a total of 174 merchant vessels have been hijacked by Somali pirates in the last three years.

“As per International Maritime Bureau (IMB) the number of ships hijacked from January 14, 2008 till March 11 this year is 174. Piracy on the Somalian coast is a global menace and has in recent times moved eastwards as well as southward,” said Antony in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The Defence Minister further informed the House that the Indian Navy and Coast Guard in a recent joint operation intercepted two hijacked vessels of Thai origin in January and February 2011.

“Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are regularly deployed for surveillance on the Indian coast,” he said.

The Indian Navy earlier today intercepted a pirate mother ship Vega 5, 600 nautical miles off the country’s west coast and arrested 61 pirates. (ANI)

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