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American Crew Believed to be Held Hostage by Pirates Off Indonesia Coast - ADA News - March 7th, 2020

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American Crew Believed to be Held Hostage by Pirates Off Indonesia Coast

ADA News - March 7th, 2020

 

The Panamanian-flagged cargo ship MV Europa Flame has been reported as seized by pirates off the Northern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. The vessel, owned by the Everblue Marine Corporation based out of the Netherlands, was transiting through the Malacca Strait when it was boarded. The company has issued a statement that the pirates had claimed that the American crew was alive, though the pirates were demanding a multi-million dollar ransom before they would release them. It is unclear what the current status of the crew is, but previous hostage-takings have indicated that the crew is not in the best of conditions. Everblue Marine has also stated it is working with its partners in the region to ensure a peaceful return of the crew and are in contact with the US government, while the crew's families are calling for all those involved to do everything in their power to achieve a safe return of the crew. 

 

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Pictured: The Europa Flame docked in Tanoa last September

 

The Strait of Malacca, where the ship was hijacked, sees roughly 40% of the world’s trade go through its waters, making it one of the world’s most important economic lifelines. Piracy has become a renewed threat to the region, as some of the pirate groups have become more organized and dangerous, while the navies of the region have been preoccupied with the rise of China. At least 60 vessels were attacked last year and the numbers are expected to rise this year as well. Viewed as a response to this recent hijacking, insurance rates for vessels traveling through the region will be increased at the end of this quarter.
 

By Claude Auchinleck

ADA News

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