Hijacked ship: Jordan approaches IMO for help | world | Hindustan Times
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Hijacked ship: Jordan approaches IMO for help

Uncertainty hangs over the fate of the hijacked Jordanian cargo ship, as officials of the company which owns the ship refused to confirm or deny whether the pirates have asked for ransom.

world Updated: May 21, 2008 20:46 IST

Uncertainty hangs over the fate of the hijacked Jordanian cargo ship, including 10 Indians among its crew members, as officials of the company which owns the ship refused to confirm or deny whether the pirates have asked for ransom.

Jordan has approached the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for help as the hijacked MV Victoria, carrying humanitarian aid, has been located on international waters off Garacad, about 600 km north of Somalian the capital, Mogadishu.

Officials of both the Sharjah-based Five Seas Company, which owns MV Victoria, and the Sharjah-based Marwan Shipping, operating the ship, refused to confirm or deny whether any demand has been made to free the ship and its crew members. They, however, said all crew members are safe.

Andrew Mwangura of the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Programme had said yesterday that the pirates "have not yet made any demand".

Indian diplomatic officials in Jordan told PTI over the phone today that Jordanian authorities, including the ministry of foreign affairs, and transportation, have agreed to provide all help to ensure safety of the Indian crew members.

MV Victoria, loaded with 4,200 tonnes of sugar, left Mumbai early this month for war-ravaged Somalia hit by severe food shortage. It was hijacked last Saturday at a place about 55 kms from Mogadishu in a string of attacks off the lawless Somalian coast.

The ship, registered in Jordan and built in 1979, have two crew members each from Burma, Bangladesh and Tanzania, and three from Kenya apart from the 10 Indians.

It was the second time that MV Victoria was attacked. Last year pirates tried to board it outside the Somali port of Merka but the ship managed to escape.