Panamanian-flagged vessel pirated off Somalia

November 11th, 2010 - 10:05 pm ICT by BNO News  

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (BNO NEWS) — A Panamanian-flagged vessel on Thursday was pirated in the Somali Basin while on route from Malaysia to Suez, the European Union Naval Force Somalia said.

The master of the 24,105 ton chemical tanker reported that he had been attacked and boarded by pirates at around 860 nautical miles East of The Horn of Africa which is considerably closer to India than it is to Somalia.

The pirated MV Hannibal II was carrying vegetable oils from Pasir Gudang to Suez at the moment of the attack. The vessel has a total of 31 crew on board, consisting of 23 Tunisians, 4 Filipinos, 1 Croatian, 1 Georgian, 1 Russian and 1 Moroccan.

Officials have said that more than warships and military efforts are necessary to deter piracy off Somali coast.

B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, on Tuesday told the United Nations Security Council that piracy is a menace that is outpacing efforts by the international community to stop it.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) reported that over 438 seafarers and passengers and 20 ships are held by pirates as of last Thursday. The amount represents an increase of almost 100 victims in less than a month.

“We need to continue to fight this battle in the broadest manner, focusing simultaneously on deterrence, security and the rule of law, as well providing economic alternatives for Somali youth,” Pascoe added.

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