VLCC Taken

A VLCC carrying about $200m (£125m; 146m euros) worth of crude oil has reportedly been hijacked off the coast of Oman, the vessel’s Greek operator says.

Athens-based shipping company Enesel said they had lost communication with the Irene SL. It is understood the vessel was passage from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Mexico when it was attacked.

“This morning the vessel was attacked by armed men,” said Enesel in a statement quoted by Reuters. “For the moment there is no communication with the vessel.”

Greece’s Merchant Marine Ministry told the Associated Press that the ship was carrying 266,000 tons of crude oil.

It has a 25-member crew including seven Greeks, 17 Filipinos and one Georgian, according to the ministry.

The EU’s naval mission in the region EUNAVFOR said in a statement on its website the Irene was sailing 400 miles (650km) south east of Muscat.

The incident comes a day after pirates took control of an Italian oil tanker in the Indian Ocean, some 800 miles from Somalia’s coast.

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