Mumbai, May 21: The hijacked Jordanian cargo ship with 10 Indians among its crew was traced three days after it was commandeered by heavily armed Somali pirates off the Somalian coast.
According to reports received here on Tuesday, the ship 'MV Victoria' was located at Garacad, about 600 kms north of Somalian capital Moghadishu. Further details are awaited and it was immediately not known if any ransom demand was made. The ship, which left Mumbai early this month carrying humanitarian aid, was hijacked about 55 kms near Moghadishu on Saturday in a string of attacks off the lawless Somalian coast, according to Director General of Shipping. 4,200 tonnes of bagged sugar were being taken to war-ravaged Somalia hit by food shortages. News of the vessel being traced came even as Indian Navy ships were put on high alert. Officials of the Kenya-based East Africa Seafarers' Association were also involved in efforts to locate the ship. Destroyer INS Delhi has been put on stand-by and is ready to sail at a moment's notice, Navy sources told PTI.
Sea pirates in three speed boats with heavy arms and guns hijacked the ship which had 21 crew members. Besides the 10 Indians there were two Burmese, two Bangladeshis, three Kenyans and two Tanzanians. The ship is owned by Sharjah-based Five Seas Company and operated by Sharjah-based Marwan Shipping. MV Victoria, registered in Jordan, was built in 1979.
"The pirates have not made any demands yet," Andrew Mwangura of the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Programme said on Monday. It was the second time MV Victoria was attacked. Pirates tried to board it outside the Somali port of Merka last year but the ship escaped.