A Greek-owned oil tanker with a 15 member crew, mostly Indians and Filipinos, has been hijacked off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea. The tanker was reported to be heading for Somalia.
The BBC reported that, the company said it lost contact with the crew of the The Liberian-flagged Smyrni, carrying 135,000 tonnes of oil, on Thursday.
The hijacking is thought to have happened about 630 km from the Omani coast.
This was only the second voyage for the tanker, which first set to sea in 2011.
The tanker’s capture comes after a recent fall in the number of hijackings in the region. This drop has been attributed to plans by several countries to allow ships using their flags to sail with armed guards.
It has not been reported, however, whether the Smyrni had such guards on board. EU naval ships are currently on patrol off the Horn of Africa in an effort to protect vessels.
According to the International Maritime Organisation, 17 ships with close to 300 crew memebers are currently held by Somali pirates.
An Indonesian official said that the hijacking of the vessel carrying oil for Indonesia would not impact the production of Indonesian refinery as the country has more stockpile, reported Xinhua.
“The hijack of the tanker carrying crude oil from Azerbaijan is not going to disturb the production of whole refinery in the country, particularly the refinery in Balikpapan which is the destination of the crude oil,” Mochamad Harun, spokesperson of the state oil-and-gas firm PT Pertamina, said in a statement Saturday.
The spokesperson said that the firm did not suffer a financial loss as the hijack took place during the transportation and it was protected by insurance, said Harun.