Wed Aug 22, 2018 | 04:40
Somali pirates seize Singaporean tanker
Mon, 02 May 2011 04:31:27 GMT
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Piracy in Somalia has been on the rise in recent years
A Singaporean shipper says Somali pirates are believed to have hijacked a chemical tanker and its 25-member crew off the coast of Kenya.

The vessel was loaded with over 28,000 tons of crude palm oil and it was en route to Kenya from Indonesia when it was hijacked and is believed is heading towards Somalia, Singapore firm Glory Ship Management said in a statement on Sunday.

The MT Gemini "was believed to have been hijacked by pirates... on 30 April at 12:33 pm Singapore time (0433 GMT)," AFP quoted the statement as saying.

Glory said it last communicated with the crew -- comprising 13 Indonesians, three Myanmar nationals, five Chinese and four South Koreans -- early afternoon Singapore time on April 30 before contact was cut off.

The shipper made no mention of ransom in its statement, but stressed that it would spare no efforts to secure the release of the crew.

Rampant piracy off the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia has made these waters among the most dangerous in the world.

Somali pirates, who increased the number of successful hijackings in 2010, have become more violent and have expanded their attack zone.

There are currently 27 vessels and 600 crew members held by Somali pirates, according to the European Union naval force mission.

Somalia does not have a functioning government and the authority of the Transitional Federal Government is limited mostly to the area around the capital, Mogadishu.

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