PIRACY | S. Korean freighter reportedly hijacked off Somalia

SEOUL — A South Korean cargo ship with 21 crew on board was hijacked apparently by Somali pirates on Saturday, a Seoul foreign ministry source said.

The 10,000-ton chemical freighter owned by Samho Shipping, based in the southern port city of Busan, was commandeered by pirates in the Indian Ocean, he told AFP.

The ship was carrying eight South Koreans, two Indonesians, and 11 crew from Myanmar. “The current location of the freighter remains unknown,” the source said.

The vessel was sailing from the United Arab Emirates towards Sri Lanka when it was hijacked in the waters between Oman and India, Seoul’s Yonhap news agency said.

The hijacking came about two months after a supertanker belonging to the same South Korean shipping company was released by Somali pirates, having been held for seven months.

The 300,000-tonne Samho Dream and its 24 crew — five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos — were released only after a record nine-million-dollar ransom was given to the pirates in a helicopter air drop.

Piracy has surged in the waters off lawless Somalia in recent years, and international warships patrol the area in an effort to clamp down on the problem.

Source: AFP

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