March 09, 2011

"The Mitsui O.S.K tanker was not damaged and none of its 24 non-Japanese crew members was injured."

Montreal Gazette "In an unprecedented move to combat piracy, the Japanese government has decided to have four U.S. Navy-held suspected pirates handed over, it has been learned. The suspects were being held over a thwarted attack on a Japanese oil tanker in the Indian Ocean on Saturday." via THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN

'In response to the decision, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office said it will dispatch a seven-member group, including one or more prosecutors and interpreters, to Oman, where the alleged pirates are under detention.

'According to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, the tanker is the 57,462-ton Guanabara, registered in Bahamas and operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.

'The pirates boarded the Guanabara on Saturday, 328 nautical miles southeast of the southern coast of Oman, but were overpowered Sunday by a special unit from the destroyer USS Bulkeley that boarded the tanker, the ministry said.

'The U.S. destroyer, along with a Turkish warship, rushed to the scene in response to a distress beacon the tanker's crew had sent to an international flotilla of warships in waters nearby, according to the ministry.'

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