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Hijacked cargo ship RUEN on the move after 45 days at anchor on Somalia's coast

MariTrace, 14 March 2024

Cargo ship RUEN was hijacked on 14 December with 18 crew onboard. Source: MariTrace.

At 1515 UTC on 14 March after 45 days at anchor, hijacked cargo vessel MV RUEN was reported to be moving eastwards, at position 06 40 N 052 11 E. MSCHOA assessed that it is possible RUEN is being used as a mother ship to attack new vessels in the area.

The 185m cargo vessel was hijacked in the Arabian Sea approximately 400NM east of the island of Socotra, with 18 crew onboard, including Angolan, Bulgarian, and Myanmar nationals. The cargo ship had been carrying metals from the port of Gwangyang to Gemlik.

AIS data suggests the hijacked vessel was taken first to a location 32NM NE of Qandala, around 17 December, then to two locations near to the shoreline approximately 32NM and 58NM NE of Eyl, around 19 and 22 December, before being moved around 25 December to an anchored position 13NM south of Dhinowda on the coast of Mugdu province, eastern Somalia. One crew member was reported to have been seriously injured during the hijacking; the Indian Navy secured his release on 22 December and he was sent to Oman for medical treatment.

The location and condition of the remaining crew remains unknown.

MSCHoA reported that no ransom has been paid yet.

The incident follows the hijacking of cargo ship ABDULLAH on 12 March, 550 NM east of Mogadishu, with 23 crew onboard, all Bangladeshi nationals. The ship had been sailing from Maputo to the United Arab Emirates, carrying a cargo of 55,000 tonnes of coal. Speaking to press on 14 March the acting secretary of Bangladesh's foreign ministry reported that, as at 14 March, all crew were safe and no ransom had been demanded.

Update on 17 March 2024: at 6pm UTC MSCHoA reported that MV RUEN had been released by the Indian Navy on Saturday 16 March. All crew members are reported safe. RUEN is believed to have rudder damage, could be drifting and is not currently transmitting AIS. Her last known position was at 06 27 N 051 51 E. 

This article was originally published on 14 March.

No AI was used in the writing of this article. MariTrace analysis and reporting is based on open sources; all information is human-curated and assessed via multi-phase, structured methods using industry-standard techniques to check for provenance, bias and accuracy.

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