By Andrew Mwangura, Somalia Report
UPDATE: Based on Somalia Report‘s information the vessel should be anchored off Bandar Murcaayo or Rasu Bina near Bargal.
Somali pirates hijacked the Greek-owned MT Liquid Velvet chemical tanker, finally bringing to an end a dry spell that has stretched back months, maritime sources told Somalia Report.
The ship, carrying a crew of 21 Filipinos and Greek national, reportedly serving as a security consultant, was taken in the Gulf of Aden on Monday in position 1202 North – 04538 East as she transited from Suez to India.
Faysal, a Somali pirate and friends with the hijackers, told Somalia Report that eight armed pirates operating from one small speed boat attacked the vessel.
“My friends called me and said they are on the vessel and are heading to Bargal area,” he said.
Faysal added that this group of pirates hails from the Siwaaqroon sub-clan of Majeerteen), and the leader of this group is Aw-kombe, a well known pirate in Bari region.
Other sources, however, indicate that the MT Liquid Velvet is under the control of a pirate group known as Seed under the leadership of Husen Sanweyne, who also hails from the Siwaaqroon sub-clan.
The 17 year old, Japanese built tanker has a gross tonnage of 5,998 tons and is 114 meters long.
The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker is one of a dozen tankers owned and managed by Athens-based Elmira Tankers.
The last three days have seen a marked increase in attacks according to NATO monitoring.