Hai Soon 6, a tanker registered in Kiribati, has been reported hijacked around 46 nautical miles south of Ghana (70 nautical miles off Accra). On July 26, the vessel was boarded by ten heavily armed men at around 23:40 UTC.
Hai Soon 6 was possibly en route to Cotonou (Benin) laden with MGO and was reportedly engaged in STS operations. It has 21 crew members on board (12 Chinese, a Singaporean, 2 Korean and 6 Myanmar). Currently, the vessel is being searched by patrol vessels from the Nigerian and Benin Navies. Glen Forbes (OceanusLive) commented:
“In the latest incident of the hijack of Hai Soon 6, the vessel was in the midst of bunkering operations with another vessel when it was boarded by heavily armed pirates. That the pirates were able to take control of the vessel during such an operation would indicate that they were well aware of the vulnerabilities of shipping in the region."
The hijacking was reported by the second vessel involved in the bunkering operation.
If this incident follows latest schemes, it is very likely Hai Soon 6 will be kept for a few days while its cargo is siphoned into smaller tankers before releasing the Kiribati vessel.
Hai Soon 6 (IMO number 9062697 and MMSI 529264000) was built in 1993. The 105-meter vessel has deadweight of 5,497 DWT. Hai Soon 6 is owned by Hai Soon Ship Management Pte Ltd (Singapore).