Somali pirates seize Dutch-owned ship - Emirates24|7

Somali pirates seize Dutch-owned ship

Somali gunmen hijacked a Dutch-owned ship as it travelled from Kenya's Mombasa port to Romania in the latest act of piracy off the lawless Horn of Africa nation's coast, a maritime official said on Tuesday.

The MV Amiya Scan, managed by the Dutch Reider Shipping BV, was seized along with some nine Russian and Filipino crew members on Sunday while it passed through the Gulf of Aden, said Andrew Mwangura, director of the Seafarers Assistance Programme.

"Unfortunately we don't know where she is right now ... there's been no ransom demand as of yet," Mwangura told Reuters by telephone. He said the cargo ship was on its way to Romania and was flying under a Panamanian flag.

Piracy is rampant off Somalia, which has functioned without an effective central government since the fall of a dictator in 1991.

In an effort to combat rising cases of hijackings, France, Britain, and the United States sent a draft resolution to the UN Security Council earlier this year that would give nations the right to arrest pirates in Somali waters.

On Friday, Somali gunmen released a Jordanian-flagged cargo ship after holding it for nearly a week. Pirates generally treat their captives well in the hope of securing a ransom.