Brussels: Pirates seized a tanker with 24
crew aboard in the Indian Ocean early today, the headquarters
of the European naval force in the region said.
"The Liberian-owned MV Polar was attacked during the
night, approximately 580 nautical miles (1,100 kilometres)
east from Socotra island," a Navfor statement said.
"The owner confirmed this morning that his vessel was
under pirate control."
The Panamanian-flagged 72,825 ton vessel has a crew of
24 -- one Romanian, three Greek, four Montenegrin and 16
Filipino, the statement said.
October is traditionally a busy month for Somalia`s
marauding pirate gangs who take advantage of calm weather
between monsoon seasons to hunt some of the thousands of
vessels plying the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
Naval powers have deployed dozens of warships to
patrol the region`s waters but they have failed to stem
piracy, one of the few thriving businesses for coastal
communities in a country devastated by war and poverty.
Pirates currently are holding more than 20 vessels to
ransom with at least 450 hostages.