Puntland to send forces to free hijacked vessel as fears of piracy return abound

The semi-autonomous regional state, Puntland has announced that it will deploy forces to coastal areas to free a ship hijacked Monday.

Armed men on Monday hijacked an oil tanker from Djibouti heading to Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

According Puntland marine police, the forces will raid Alula town to rescue the ship and its crew.

Hared Ahmed Mohamud, a local elder told Goobjoog News that young fishermen including former pirates have hijacked the ship.

“These young men are desperate after resource of the ocean was depleted by foreign ships, they have been sailing through the ocean in search for a foreign ship to hijack for day before they found this ship and boarded it,” Mohamud said.

It is yet unclear the amount of ransom to demanded by the pirates.

Reports say Comoros-flagged tanker Aris 13 manned by eight Sri Lankan crew.

Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said in a statement it was in touch with shipping agents and officials abroad for more information to help ensure the crew’s safety and welfare.

A UN shipping database shows the Aris 13 is owned by a company called Armi Shipping SA, whose address is listed as care of Aurora Ship Management FZE, a company based in Fujairah

The incident involving the Aris 13 becomes the first commercial pirate attack off Somalia since 2012.

Piracy off Somalia’s coast was once a serious threat to the global shipping industry.

Goobjoog News, Agencies

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