Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Somali Pirate Crisis, continued

Somali pirates have seized their largest booty yet, taking a Saudi supertanker off the Kenyan coast. In response to increasing pirate attacks, an international naval force has been patrolling the waters of Gulf of Aden. Yet the pirates were able to capture the aircraft carrier-sized oil tanker (see picture), acting south of the patrols. The hijacked vessel is presently docked at the pirate-dominated town of Harardhere.

The ship, the MV Sirius Star, is owned by a Dubai oil company and has a 25 person international crew and had $100 million in crude oil aboard when taken. Reportedly, no crew members have been harmed. Negotiations are ongoing with the pirates. Past negotiations have typically ended with the payment of large ransoms. This is the largest ship seized by the increasingly bold pirates.