Cargo Ship Basilisk Reportedly Hijacked by Somali Pirates

Published: May 23, 2024

A cargo ship named Basilisk registered/flagged in Liberia has allegedly been captured by Somali pirates, according to reports from maritime security officials

The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) stated that an unidentified group boarded the commercial vessel approximately 420 nautical miles southeast of Somalia’s Marka district in the Lower Shabelle region, east of Mogadishu.

The hijacking was carried out by individuals aboard two small boats who gained access to the Basilisk. The pirates have taken full control of the ship’s operations room, leaving 17 crew members trapped in the vessel’s safe room with all communications blocked.

The Basilisk, a cargo ship, was en route to the port of Jebel Ali in Dubai after departing from Rotterdam, Netherlands with a stop in Porto Grande, Cape Verde.

This incident comes  after Somali pirates received a $5 million ransom payment for the release of the hijacked MV Abdullah ship in March 2024.

Piracy off the coast of Somalia was rampant a decade ago, with dozens of ships captured and held for ransom each year before a concerted international effort helped suppress the criminal enterprises. However, this latest reported hijacking could signal a resurgence of pirate activity in the region.

Horseed Media