Modern-Day Pirates Swiping Black Gold

The Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce is reporting a rise in oil tanker hijackings, particularly in the Arabian Gulf and the waters off southeast Asia. The hijackers reportedly beat up the crews, smash their navigation equipment, and leave them stranded while the oil is transferred to other vessels.

"The Asian economic crisis is forcing pirates to switch their targets from general cargo vessels, whose business is slumping, to tankers carrying marine fuel oil," says Captain Pottengal Mukundan, director of the ICC's Maritime Bureau.

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