25 crew confirmed on board tanker hijacked off Kenya coast

10:43, May 02, 2011      

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Twenty-five crew members are on board a Singapore-registered palm oil tanker hijacked on Saturday off Kenya coast, the ship management company and authorities confirmed on Sunday.

The crew members on board the tanker GT Gemini include four South Koreans, 13 Indonesians, five Chinese and three Myanmar nationals, Singapore-based Glory Ship Management said in a statement, without revealing their names.

The vessel "is believed to have been hijacked off Kenyan waters " around Saturday noon and were "heading towards Somalia," the statement said.

The Maritime and Port Authority first released a statement on Saturday on the suspected hijacking of the vessel. Glory Ship Management said its Singapore office last made satellite phone contact with the captain of the ship early Saturday afternoon before the contact was cut off. The vessel was carrying 28,000 metric tons of crude palm oil from Indonesia to Mombasa, Kenya, when the incident took place, it said.

The China Maritime Search and Rescue Center and the Chinese Embassy in Singapore separately confirmed that they have received report on the incident. The crew members include five Chinese nationals, China Maritime Search and Rescue Center said.

Glory Ship Management said its managing agents are making all efforts to contact the family members of the crew in the respective countries.

"Our highest concerns are for the safety and well-being of the crew members. We will make every effort to secure their release," the company said. "The company is keeping the appropriate Singapore and international authorities fully informed of the situation."

Source: Xinhua
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