Somali Pirates Seize Singapore-Owned Ship 
Somali Pirates Seize Singapore-Owned Ship 

Somali pirates have hijacked a Singapore-owned and flagged container ship in the Indian Ocean.

Andrew Mwangura, of the East African Seafarers Assistance Program, says the MV Kota Wajar was seized early Thursday about 550 kilometers north of the Seychelles islands.

He says the ship has 21 crew members and was bound for the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

The European Union says it has sent an aircraft from its anti-piracy naval mission to investigate the situation.

This is the second ship hijacked by Somali pirates this month.  Pirates have demanded a $4 million ransom for a Spanish fishing boat with 36 crew members they seized October 2.

Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships over the past two years, taking in tens of millions of dollars in ransom money.

The number of hijackings has dropped in recent months as foreign navies step up their patrols of the Somali coastline.

However, international police officials have warned the pirates remain potent and are likely getting significant help from organized crime.

The pirates are currently holding a total of six ships with nearly 140 crew members.




Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.