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No contact with hijacked South Korean VLCC

Busan: There has been no contact yet from Somali pirates that hijacked a South Korean owned very large crude carrier (VLCC) on Sunday. The 300,000 dwt Samho Dream was 1,500 km east of the Gulf of Aden, bound from Iraq to the US, when it was believed to have been hijacked by pirates. The vessel has a crew 24, comprising five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos. "We believe the ship, Samho Dream, has been seized by Somali pirates based on the details of our last communication with the ship," a South Korean Foreign Ministry Official, was quoted as saying by Yonhap. The tanker is now headed towards Somalia and a South Korean warship in the area has been ordered to sail towards the hijacked vessel. No contact has been made with the pirates, and normally it takes two to three days for contact by the pirates to be established. The VLCC was hijacked in area far away from where pirates normally strike. "The (Samho Dream) did not have any guards on board because it was in an area not prone to pirate activities," an official from Samho said at a press conference in Busan. [05/04/10]

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