Somali pirates have captured a Greek-registered oil tanker with 25 men on board off the coast of Oman. The supertanker, Irene SL, has lost all communication with its Greek-based shipping company Enesel.
The tanker was sailing from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Mexico. It was located some 200 nautical miles (360km) east of Oman when it is believed to have been captured. Pirates regularly operate in the area despite a distance of hundreds of miles from Somalia.
A statement issued by Enesel confirmed: "This morning the vessel was attacked by armed men. For the moment there is no communication with the vessel."
The incident comes just two days after pirates captured an Italian oil tanker in the Indian Ocean, some 800 miles from Somalia's coast, reports BBC Africa. The crew's nationalities are believed to consist of seven Greeks, 17 Filipinos and one Georgian.
The Irene SL, with its cargo of 266,000 tons of crude oil can command higher ransoms according to Associated Press reports, as owners of the oil would be keen to resolve the issue sooner rather than later, particularly if the price of oil drops.