An EU Naval Force statement said the operation had finally made contact with the ship’s master, who confirmed that armed men were aboard the Comoros-flagged tanker Aris 13.
The EU statement said the ship’s master issued a mayday alert.
The EU Naval Force said it had passed the information from its contact with the ship’s master to the oil tanker’s owners and an investigation was underway.
A U.N. shipping database shows the Aris 13 is owned by Armi Shipping SA, whose address is listed in care of Aurora Ship Management FZE, a company based in the United Arab Emirates.
Australian government records from 2014 list the ship’s owner as Flair Shipping Trading FZE in the UAE. An address listed for Flair Shipping in Dubai was for a company called Flair Oil Trading DMCC. A woman there told an AP reporter the firm wasn’t connected to the ship and directed him to another office.
Somali pirates usually hijack ships and crew for ransom.
Nur, the local elder, told the AP that young fishermen including former pirates have hijacked the ship.