Maritime News

Somali pirates hijack first ship since 2012

20 March 2017

After almost five years without a hijacking, Somali pirates seized a Comoros-flagged oil tanker, Aris 13, with eight Sri Lankan crew on 13 March.

However, the seizure was concluded swiftly following a gunfight between the pirates and the Puntland maritime police force on 16 March, and the ship and kidnapped crew were released – apparently without payment of a ransom – after negotiations involving clan elders.

The hijacking was the first since 2012, a period when counter-piracy measures have been successful in reducing the incidence of piracy off Somalia. Alongside patrols by an international naval force, parts of Somalia have also been developing their own criminal justice systems to tackle piracy.

However, eight Iranian seafarers are still being held captive by pirates, and counter-piracy organisations warn that the waters off Somalia are still high risk.


All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, tel: +603 2031 0014 (24 hours), email:


Related press

Press Area


Back to current news online stories