News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Somali pirates hijack Indian commercial ship

Ship hijacked by Somali pirates

Pirates hijacked an Indian commercial ship off the coast of Somalia and the vessel is heading toward the shore, a former government anti-piracy official said.

Abdirizak Dirir, a former director of the anti-piracy agency in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region, told Reuters on Monday.

“We understand Somali pirates hijacked a commercial Indian ship and (it is heading) towards Somalia shores,’’ he said

On March 15,  armed pirates off the coast of Somalia hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, demanding a ransom for the release of the vessel.

On March 16, the pirates released the tanker without condition.

In the prime  of the crisis in 2011, there were 237 attacks and the annual cost of piracy was estimated to be up to  eight billion euros.

However, some smaller fishing vessels have recently been seized in the area.(Reuters/NAN)

In 2015, Somali officials warned that piracy could return unless the international community helped create jobs and security ashore, as well as combating illegal fishing at sea.

Some Somali fishermen turned to piracy after their livelihoods were destroyed by illegal fishing from foreign trawlers, which benefited from the lack of a functioning coastguard in the country following years of conflict.(Reuters/NAN)