New Delhi: In yet another strike, Somali
pirates have seized one more vessel with 22 crew, including 19
Indians, on board in the Gulf of Aden.
With the seizure of this vessel, the number of Indians
held hostage by the pirates has gone up to 57 as 38 are
already in their captivity for over a month.
"We have received information that a chemical tanker M V
Marida Marguerite with 22 crew members - 19 Indians, 2
Bangladeshis and 1 Ukrainian - has been hijacked in the Gulf
of Aden yesterday," a senior official said.
The tanker en-route from Kandla in Gujarat to Antwerp in
Belgium was carrying approximately 11,000 MT of chemicals, he
"The Shipping Directorate is in contact with the managers
of the vessel for regular updates and measures have been
initiated for early and safe release of the crew and vessel,"
The official said more information regarding the hijacking
could be expected in the next three to four days.
In the past negotiations involved the owners, seafarers`
bodies and pirates, without any government representative.
Somali pirates had seized 11 dhows (slow-moving vessels)
with over 120 Indians on board over a month ago.
Of them, five vessels, including a dhow, and 38 Indians
continued to be in their custody.
Repeated attacks on Indian vessels had also prompted the
government to issue warning to dhows about the dangers in
those waters, particularly along the sea-lanes of Salalah and
The merchandise conducted on seas is worth about USD 110
billion annually, with Indians being the major players.