Pirates seize Bulgarian tanker

Pirates seize Bulgarian tanker
# 12 May 2010 04:57 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. A Bulgarian-flagged ship with 15 crewmen has been hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, the European Union’s naval force says, APA reports quoting presstv.ir website.

The chemical tanker MV Panega was seized about 100 nautical miles (185 kms) east of the Yemeni port of Aden on Tuesday, EU Navfor said in a statement.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has announced that all the crew members are Bulgarian citizens.

The tanker was headed from the Red Sea en route to Pakistan.

Naval forces in the region are trying to establish contact with the vessel, the EU Navfor statement said.

There are two other Bulgarian tankers currently held by Somali pirates, the Asian Glory and the St. James Park with 13 other Bulgarian nationals on board, making a total of 28 Bulgarian captives.

In related news, Somali pirates have released the 11,000-ton Bermuda-flagged refrigerated cargo vessel hijacked in the Indian Ocean two months ago after a ransom was paid, although how much was paid has not been reported.

Hijackings off the coast of Somalia have earned pirates tens of millions of dollars in ransom, raised shipping insurance premiums, and forced ships to take longer, costlier routes to dodge pirate hotspots.