Source: Gulf News

A commercial ship believed to be based out of the UAE has just been hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia.  

The capture of the vessel on one of the busiest shipping routes is said to be the first since 2012. 

The EU Naval force that operates around that area has confirmed the pirates take-over, and told Gulf News they are now asking for a ransom in exchange for the ship and crew.  

The boat, that was carrying oil to Mogadishu, appeared to have shifted it's course to Alula, a port town in Somalia on Monday. 

The ship was reported to have been followed by two skiffs (small boats) after it disappeared, according to Mohamud Ahmed Eynab, district commissioner for Alula.

Naval security have been dispatched to locate the ship. 

The vessel is reported to have and an eight member Sri Lankan crew, although it is not registered under a Sri Lankan flag. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reached out and said that it will continue to follow up with the "shipping agents, concerned authorities, as well as relevant Sri Lanka missions overseas to ascertain further information on the matter in order to ensure the safety and welfare of the Sri Lankan crew." 

Piracy incidents around Somalia had been said to have declined after increased security. According to sailors, commercial vessels are oftentimes escorted by maritime patrols through this area because of the known amount of pirates.