via Pirates Seize Oil Tanker with $200 Million of Crude | Africa | English.

Armed pirates have hijacked a U.S.-bound oil tanker carrying about $200 million worth of crude off the coast of Oman. Authorities say the Greek-flagged vessel has a crew of 25, including 17 Filipinos, seven Greeks and one Georgian.

This is the second vessel seized in the past two days.  But this tanker, carrying 20% of one day’s worth of US crude oil, wasn’t hijacked in one of the usual places.

Suspected Somali pirates captured the supertankerIrene SL early Wednesday off the coast of Oman as it was transporting some 2 million barrels of Kuwaiti crude oil destined for the United States.

“The pirates are spreading their net much wider right out over the Indian Ocean, all the way over toward the coast of India,” said Box. “I mean, this hijacking of this Irene SL happened 1,000 miles from the coast of Somalia.”

By using “motherships,” pirates are able to extend their reach to places many hundreds of miles from their home ports.  This worrying development strikes fear into the hearts of shipping executives and insurance companies around the world.

According to the EU’s anti-piracy task force, pirates currently are holding at least 30 ships and more than 700 hostages.

What can we do?  How will companies and nations work together to put an end to this lawlessness?  We’ll have to wait and see, because right now, pirates definitely have the upper hand.


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