Boarding in Indian Ocean Confirmed as Piracy, Crew Kidnapped

As this publication reported this morning, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations authority reported a possible hijacking in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400NM East of Mogadishu. The UKMTO has confirmed that this was an act of piracy.

By 0800 EST, UKMTO announced that two vessels approached the civilian vessel; at least 20 armed men boarded and took control of the vessel. British Maritime Security company Ambrey confirmed the vessel is a Bangladesh-flagged bulk carrier that was heading from Mozambique to the United Arab Emirates.

As of 1500 EST, the vessel is heading towards Somalia with the crew detained. There has been no official announcement from foreign governments that have vessels in the area such as Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG) member states and the People’s Liberation Army Navy 46th Naval Escort Task Force. Western states are definitely tied up in interdicting Houthi operations; however, those Chinese vessels have been largely unengaged during the crisis. This would be a significant opportunity for the PLAN to demonstrate its capabilities and increase international standing.