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Somali pirates seize first commercial ship since 2012

Mar 14, 2017 04:45 PM

The tanker Aris 13 had eight Sri Lankan crewmembers aboard

(PUNTLAND, Somalia) — Somali pirates have hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, the first time a commercial ship has been seized in the region since 2012, Reuters reported. Security forces have been sent to free Aris 13, a regional police official said Tuesday.

Experts said the ship was an easy target and shipowners were becoming lax after a long period of calm. Aris 13 sent a distress call on Monday, turned off its tracking system and altered course for the Somali port town of Alula, said John Steed of the aid group Oceans Beyond Piracy.

The tanker is owned by Armi Shipping of Panama and managed by Aurora Ship Management in the United Arab Emirates.

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