Source: Times of Oman
The Italian vessel Enrico Ievoli, which was hijacked off shore Oman coastline early morning on Tuesday, is heading towards Somalia.
“At about 0730GMT yesterday, the ship Master informed that the vessel under the control of pirates was sailing towards Somalia waters. According to the Master, the hijacking went through without damage and injuries to the crew. Everybody on the board is unharmed,” the statement issued by the vessel owner said.
“MT Enrico Ievoli, sailing from Fujairah (the UAE) bound for the Mediterranean Sea, was captured approximately 215 nautical miles East by Northeast of Salalah at 0403UTC. With a crew of 18 comprising of six Italians, five Ukrainians and seven Indians, it is owned by Marnavi of Naples in Italy.
The Master had alerted the Italian Coastguard headquarters. It was heading towards the rendezvous point with the Chinese armed convoy,” Glen Forbes, a former UK Royal Navy officer, told Times of Oman.
Meanwhile, according to Somalia Report, a pirate source in Harardheere confirmed that pirates had hijacked the Italian vessel.
“I don’t know the name of the vessel, but the hijackers contacted some pirates in Harardhere area early today (on Tuesday) and told them that they had taken the Italian vessel,” Tuur, a Harardheere area pirate told Somalia Report.
The vessel is now heading towards Harardheere.
The hijackers themselves hail from Harardheere, and belong to the Sa’ad and Saleebaan sub-clans of the Hawiye, the Report added.
The group’s leader has not been identified as yet. He will be expected to share the eventual ransom with prominent pirate bosses in the area, including Mohamed Garfanje and Guushaaye, according to the Report.
The tanker has been hijacked after two Italian tankers, Rosalia D’Amato and Savina Caylyn, were freed for a sum of around US$17 million. The Enrico Ievoli had experienced a pirate attack in March 2006.
According to EU NAVFOR, there are currently 199 men and one woman held hostage in Somalia following the hijacking of their ships and all are being held against their will to be used by criminal gangs as part of a ransom business.
Since the start of the EU NAVFOR counter-piracy mission in December 2008, a total of 2,317 merchant seamen have been held hostage for an average of nearly five months.
The longest period in captivity is 19 months for the 24 crew members of the M/V ICEBERG 1, who are still being held. The PRANTALAY 12 fishing boat, pirated April 18, 2010 and beached on July 14, 2011.
Five of the crew died in captivity, one is missing and four remained in Somalia following the release of the others.