KIEV, May 3 (RIA Novosti) - Somali pirates have
seized a British-owned ship with a Ukrainian crew, a spokesman
for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
The Maltese-flagged cargo vessel, the Ariana, owned by
British company Seven Seas Maritime Ltd., was seized by the
Somali pirates some 250 miles southwest of the Seychelles
islands in the Indian Ocean on Saturday. The ship was carrying
35,000 tons of soybeans from Brazil to the Middle East.
In a similar incident, a Ukrainian cargo ship was seized
by Somali pirates in September 2008. The Faina was only
released in February after the pirates received a $3.2 million
Pirates are increasingly active in the waters off Somalia,
which has no central government and no navy to police its
Around 20 warships from the navies of at least a dozen
countries are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia.
According to the United Nations, Somali pirates carried out at
least 120 attacks on ships in 2008, resulting in combined
ransom payouts of around $150 million.