Somali pirates on two skiffs seized the Panama-flagged vessel MV RENUAR after firing small arms and rocket propelled grenades at the merchant ship, said the European Union naval force.
The MV RENUAR is a Liberian owned bulk cargo vessel, with a deadweight of 70,156 tonnes. It was en route to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates from Port Louis in Mauritius when it was captured on Saturday, the EU force said.
“The pirates have confirmed that they have control of the ship which is now heading west towards the Somali coast,” the EU force said.
The ship was taken about 1,050 nautical miles east of the Somali coastal village of Eyl and a distance of 550 nautical miles from the coast of India, Reuters reports.
The ship has a 24-man Filipino crew, who attempted to evade the pirates for some time, causing the pirates to make several attacks before finally boarding the vessel.
There are no communications at present with the ship and the condition of the crew is not known, said the naval force, which patrols the Indian Ocean to ward off pirates.
Captured ships are usually taken to Haradhere, which has become notorious as a base for piracy in Somalia.
Somali pirates are making tens of millions of dollars in ransoms from seizing ships, including tankers and dry bulkers, in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, despite the efforts of foreign navies to clamp down on such attacks.