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