Pirates have hijacked an Indian vessel off the coast of Somalia, Xinhua reported on Monday.

Andrew Mwangura, the East African Coordinator of Seafarers’ Assistance Program (SAP), confirmed that the vessel, Laxmi Sagar, was seized on Sunday.

“The Indian boat was seized on Sunday but we received the report early today (Monday). The crew is Indian. I have not established where the vessel was heading from and its destination,” Mwangura told Xinhua over phone from Mombasa, Kenya.

Sources said the Indian vessel operated frequently between Saudi Arabia and the African coast.

Piracy has become rampant off the coast of Africa, especially in the waters near Somalia, which has been without an effective government since 1991.

An estimated 25,000 ships annually cruise the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia’s northern coast. The Gulf of Aden has the highest risk of piracy in the world.

More In: International | News