Somali pirates have deployed a hijacked car carrier as a mother ship on raids out into the Indian Ocean, according to local reports.

The 4,500 unit carrier, operated by Eukor and owned by Zodiac Maritime Agencies, was taken on 1 January en route from Ulsan to Saudi Arabia with 2,405 cars.

The ship was believed to be headed for the Somali coast where the cars were to be offloaded.

The ship is now being used by the pirates to snare more victims in the ocean, according to a report on seatradeasia.