Monday, November 29, 2021

Audio: Recording of hijacked tanker’s call to coastguard emerges

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Asphalt Princess tells coastguard: “People on board with ammunitions”.

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A recording of the exchange between the hijacked Asphalt Princess and the United Arab Emirates coastguard has been posted on social media by Saudi-backed broadcaster Iran International and Israeli public broadcaster Kan.

The audio recording appears to be a that of a crew member informing authorities that the 1976-built, 9,700-dwt bitumen carrier had been boarded by five-to-six armed Iranians.

“Sire, we have … people on board with ammunitions,” he said. “We are now driving. We are drifting. We cannot tell you … our ETA to Sohar.”

A coastguard officer radioed back: “How many Iranian people on board?”

“Around five to six people, sire,” the crew member said.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations reported on Tuesday that a ship had been boarded around 16:30 local time about 61 nautical miles east of Fujairah. On Wednesday the Oman Maritime Security centre confirmed it was the Asphalt Princess.

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