Somali pirates hijack Thai cargo ship carrying 27 crew members

December 25th, 2010 - 10:29 pm ICT by BNO News  

BRUSSELS (BNO NEWS) — Somali pirates on early Saturday morning hijacked a Thailand-flagged vessel carrying more than two dozen crew members, the European Union Naval Force - Somalia said.

EU Naval Force spokesman Per Klingvall said the 20,377 tonne cargo ship MV Thor Nexus was pirated approximately 450 nautical miles (833 kilometers) northeast of the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean. It is carrying 27 crew members, all whom are from Thailand.

Klingvall said the MV Thor Nexus was on its way to Bangladesh from Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates at the time of the hijacking. “No details of the attack are known at this stage,” he added.

Currently, Somali pirates are holding at least 25 vessels with a total of 601 hostages, according to the European Union Naval Force - Somalia, which keeps a record of pirating incidents. Most hijackings usually end without casualties when a ransom has been paid. This, however, often takes many months.

On Monday, Somali pirates hijacked the Panama-flagged MV Orna in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 nautical miles (740 kilometers) northeast of the Seychelles. It is carrying an unknown number of crew members.

In recent years, Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships, taking in tens of millions of dollars in ransom. Ships are patrolling the shipping lanes near Somalia in an effort to reduce hijackings, but the anti-piracy force has warned that attacks are likely to increase now that the regional monsoon season has ended.

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