Moscow/Islamabad, Sep.1 (ANI): Investigations into the hijacking of a Russian warship in April by Somali pirates show that Pakistani nationals played an important role in the hijack.
Twelve Pakistanis had been apprehended along with the Somali pirates. Pakistan has so far not launched a probe into the Russian allegations and claimed that 12 men were fishermen, the Times Now television channel reports.
Authorities have confirmed the first case of alleged Pakistani involvement with Somali pirates in a revelation that has raised concerns about a possible link between piracy and suspected terrorist groups.
On April 28, a Russian warship apprehended 12 Pak nationals – along with Somali pirates – for attempting to attack a tanker off Somalias coast.
Investigations pointed to Pakistani nationals having played a ‘lead’ role. Their nationality was confirmed through identity cards and evidence was handed over on May 8 to MSS Rehmat, a Pakistan Maritime Security Agency ship, 12 miles of Gwadar.
Pakistan first claimed that these men were fishermen but three months on, there is no word on the probe.
The incident occurred when Russian warship Admiral Panteleyev received a distress call 120 km east of Somalias coast from a tanker Bulwai Bank, registered in Antigua, en route to Singapore. The tanker was under attack from Somali pirates.
Russian commandos intervened and foiled the attempt. They found that the pirates speedboats were being guided from another mother vessel. (ANI)