Via the Indian Directorate General of Shipping:
PRESS RELEASE NO. 1 DATE: 27th JAN 2010
The Marine and General Press,
SUB: M.V. “LAYLA S”- FLAG CAMBODIA, IMO NO. 7118117, MMSI NO. 515286000, GENERAL CARGO, GRT 1404, YEAR OF BUILD 1971, ALLEGEDLY HIJACKED OFF SOMALI PORT BERBERA IN GULF OF ADEN.
The Directorate General of Shipping has received the following information from a reliable source on the alleged hijacking of the subject vessel:
1. A ship named MV Layla S has been hijacked by armed men off the Somali port of Berbera in the Gulf of Aden.
2. The crew is believed to be a mix of Indian, Pakistani, Somali, Sri Lankan and probably Syrian. The details are still scanty.
3. The vessel is believed to be Syrian flagged/ owned and managed by Al Hufoof Shipping which could be Syrian/ UAE based. This is not a typical hijacking incident since the vessel was held after offloading the cargo in Berbera and could therefore be a business dispute with the crew being held as collateral.
4. The crew in this case is believed to have been abandoned by the owner and it is thus likely that they have already been held captive for a few days. It may be mentioned that such incidents are common in Somalia but come to light a few days later.
The date of hijacking, total no. of crew and no. of Indian seafarers has not been mentioned in the report.
ACTION BY DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF SHIPPING:
1. Upon receipt of the information, the same was passed on to the Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of External Affairs, The Coast Guard and Naval headquarters, New Delhi.
2. The Directorate is in touch with various agencies for further updates.