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‘Potential hijack of ship off Oman is over’

4 Aug 2021

Oman’s Ministry of Defence has issued a statement on the hijacking of a marine tanker in international waters of Oman Sea, saying investigations are being carried out into what happened on the Panama-flagged tanker named Asphalt Princess. 

‘An official source at the Maritime Security Centre stated that within the framework of the joint maritime action system and the existing coordination between the centre and the sultanate, continuous investigation is being conducted to find out what happened on Asphalt Princess,’ the ministry said in a statement.  

It added that the Royal Air Force of Oman is conducting sorties near the site, while the Royal Navy of Oman has directed a number of its vessels to secure the international waters in the region. 

It affirmed the Maritime Security Centre’s keenness to ensure the safety of maritime navigation in coordination with the other centres of  
the region. 

Quoting a UK maritime security agency, AFP reported that the suspected hijacking of a ship had ended and the vessel is safe. “Boarders have left the vessel. Vessel is safe. Incident complete,” United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKTMO) tweeted. 

Earlier, Lloyd’s List reported that armed men had boarded a Panama-flagged tanker. 

On Tuesday, the UKTMO upgraded its report of the ‘non-piracy’ incident on the unidentified ship 60 miles east of Fujairah heading towards  
the Strait of Hormuz to ‘potential hijack’. 

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