Somali pirates hijacked three Thai fishing vessels with 77 crew aboard more than 1,930 kilometres from the Somali coast, the farthest-off-shore attack to date, the EU Naval Force said today.
Pirates have expanded their range south and east in response to an increase in patrols by European and American
warships off the Somali shore.
The hijacking of the three Thai vessels happened on Sunday, said Cmdr John Harbour, a spokesman for the EU Naval
Force. The attack took place well outside the area that the EU force operates in, he said.
The three vessels - the MV Prantalay 11, 12, and 14 - have 77 crew onboard in total. All the crew are Thai, Harbour
said. The owner of the vessels is PT Interfishery Ltd.
Pirates have increased attacks against shipping vessels over the last year in hopes of netting the multi-million dollar ransoms they can earn. Because of increased naval patrols and increased defences on board commercial vessels, the pirates' success rate has gone down, though the number of successful attacks has stayed about the same year over year.