EU Naval Force Says Panama-flagged Ship Was Not Hijacked by Somali Pirates

GAROWE (Somaliguardian) – EU Naval Force says Panama-flagged ship was having technical problems and the crew was safe hours after local media reported it was hijacked by Somali pirates.

ON August 20th, both local and international media reported that the vessel could have been hijacked in Gardafu region of the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia.

“On August 18th, EU NAVFOR OHQ joint operations center detected suspicious movements when Panama flagged MT “AEGIAN II”, a chemical/oil tanker with armed security guards on board in transit from Shajah (UAE) and bound for Mogadishu (Somalia) altered her course without any apparent reason” reads a statement issued by EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta.

“Expeditious investigations conducted by a EU NAVFOR maritime patrol aircraft including radio contact, concluded  that the vessel was having technical problems and the crew was safe.”

EU Naval Force said initial assessment reported suspicious movements were due to damages in the hull caused by rough sea. Bosaso port authorities also confirmed that the Panama-flagged ship had not been hijacked and that Gardafu police had been sent on board to inspect the vessel when it was drifting off Bareeda waiting for technical assistance.

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