The German-owned ship, the MV Victoria, was captured Tuesday afternoon 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of Yemen, said Lt. Nate Christensen, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet. He had no information on the condition of the 10 Romanian crew members aboard the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged ship.
The Gulf of Aden is one of the world's most important shipping lanes, connecting Europe and Asia via the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. It is used by 20,000 ships a year and has become the world's hot spot for pirate attacks.
At least 19 ships are now being held by Somali pirates, and about 250 sailors from countries around the world being held hostage in the Gulf of Aden and directly off Somalia's eastern coast.
The pirates' wealth is all the more shocking considering Somalia's poverty. There has been no effective central government in nearly 20 years, plunging the arid country into chaos. Nearly every public institution has crumbled.
Last year, dozens of ships were seized and an estimated $1 million per boat was paid in ransom for their release, according to analysts. Each pirate is believed to get on average $10,000 for a successful hijacking...morehttp://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,519104,00.html