Pirates’ Biggest Heist Yet: $200M

Reuters

Somali pirates captured a U.S.-bound tanker carrying around $200 million worth of crude oil in the Indian Ocean on Wednesday in one of the biggest hijackings in the area so far.

Joe Angelo, managing director of INTERTANKO, said the hijacking of the Irene SL marked “a significant shift in the impact of the piracy crisis in the Indian Ocean.”

The Irene SL, the length of three soccer pitches and with 25 crew members on board, was carrying about 2 million barrels of oil, or nearly one fifth of daily US crude imports.

The hijacking came a day after an Italian tanker carrying oil worth more than $60 million was snatched by Somali pirates, reinforcing industry fears that the piracy scourge is “spinning out of control.”

“For the moment there is no communication with the vessel,” according to the Irene SL’s Greece-based manager.

Commander Susie Thomson, spokeswoman for the multinational Combined Maritime Forces fighting piracy in the area, said the 333-meter tanker was hijacked 220 miles off Oman and was likely to have been attacked by Somali pirates. “We can only speculate as to where the ship is being taken.”

Complete story via Reuters

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