Somali pirates struck again as they hijacked a vessel with 14 Indian crew-members on board off the coast of Oman. The Indian dhow (a slow-moving vessel) was about 800 nautical miles from the Somali coast when the pirates attacked it on January 9.
According to directorate of shipping officials, the pirates hijacked MSV Al-Musa, which is registered in Gujarat, after it had left Dubai on January 6. The vessel, carrying a mixed cargo of eatables, was on its way to Salalah.
Officials said that the dhow’s owners had not come forward to claim ownership.
“The identity of crew-members has not yet been established as no contact can be established with the dhow. They could be local fishermen,” said an official from the directorate of shipping.
The fresh strike from the Somali pirates comes even as an Indian naval warship is patrolling the Gulf of Aden as part of anti-piracy efforts initiated in October 2008. There already exists an advisory from the Directorate General of Shipping asking small vessels not to take up contract work in the Gulf of Aden region.