|Eglantine (from here)|
A foreign cargo vessel has been hijacked by Somali pirates in Maldivian waters, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has confirmed.Flags of Convenience reports the ship, being Iranian owned is on the U.S. Department of State's Speically Designated Nationals list.
The Bolivian-flagged vessel was hijacked about 190 nautical miles northwest of Hoarafushi island in Haa Alif Atoll, said MNDF Spokesperson Major Abdul Raheem.
Maldives circled in red
The MNDF have dispatched defence vessels to the scene of the hijacking. The vessel was identified on Somalia Report as the Iranian-owned MV EGLANTINE, with 23 crew members on board. The vessel, which has previously been named the Bluebell and the Iran Gilan, is owned by Darya Hafiz Shipping.
“Since it is a hijacking it is possible that the pirates will be armed. I cannot give further details on the mission. There are factors to be considered before going to a direct confrontation or rescue,” said Major Raheem. Foreign authorities have been asked for assistance, he confirmed.