Tag: maritime piracy

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South Africa joins pirate battle

SA deployed a frigate South Africa has deployed a frigate to the Mozambique Channel off east Africa to help fight the southward creep of piracy, the public broadcaster SABC reported.The deployment marks the first time South Africa has sent a ship to take part in anti-piracy operations, and follows international pressure on the key regional player to step up its role in the fight against piracy.The ship, the SAS Mendi, will join five other frigates and 18 smaller boats in the operation, SABC said.Somali pirates have been striking farther afield as the European Union and other countries have cracked down on piracy off the coast of Somalia.In December, pirates staged their southernmost attacks yet when they tried unsuccessfully to hijack two ships in the Mozambique Channel. According to the International Maritime Bureau, Somali pirates are currently holding 31 vessels and 700 hostages.Source: AFP

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MV SININ believed pirated in the Arabian Sea

The vessel has a crew of 23 On the afternoon of 12 February, the MV SININ is believed to have been pirated approximately 350 nautical miles East of Masirah (Oman) in the North Arabian Sea.The vessel, which has a crew of 23 (13 Iranian and 10 Indian nationals), sent out a distress signal, saying she was under attack, late afternoon on Saturday to which an aircraft from the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) immediately responded. The aircraft photographed 2 suspected pirate skiffs on board the vessel. There has been no communication with the ship since the distress signal was sent and the MV SININ has now changed course towards the Somali coast. There is no information on the condition of the crew.The MV SININ is a Maltese flagged and owned Bulk Carrier. She has a deadweight of 52,466 tonnes and was on route to Singapore from Fujairah (UAE) when she was attacked. The ship was not registered with MSC(HOA) and was not reporting to UKMTO. EUNAVFOR is monitoring the situation.Source: EU NAVFOR

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Somali pirates may face death penalty in Malaysia

Charged with firearms offences Seven Somali pirates were charged with firearms offences in a Malaysian court on Friday in a move that could see some of them hanged if they are found guilty in the first prosecution of Somali pirates by an Asian country.The pirates - three of who were 15-years old - were captured in January by Malaysian commandos after they attempted to hijack a Malaysian-owned chemicals tanker.They seven, wearing bright orange jump-suits, did not enter a plea after the charges were read in a court in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur and prosecutor Mohamed Aba Zafree said the 15-year olds would not face the death penalty as they were minors.The decision to prosecute came as pirate attacks hit a seven-year high in 2010, according to the Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureau which collates statistics on attacks, disrupting shipping lanes at a time when the price of raw materials has moved sharply higher.Pirates operating off the coast of Somalia have hijacked vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden for years, making millions of dollars in ransoms by seizing ships, including oil tankers, despite the presence of dozens of foreign naval vessels.There were 445 actual and ...

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Five hostages starved to death on ship hijacked by Somali pirates

15 pirates had ben arrested The successful apprehension of Somali pirates off Lakshadweep by Indian Navy and Coast Guard on Sunday has brought along a tragic story of hostages. At least five crew members of the three Thai trawlers hijacked by pirates have been reported to have died of hunger and sickness after the owner of the trawlers refused to pay ransom leading to a 10-month-long hostage crisis.According to sources, the pirates had hijacked three trawlers, Prantalay-11, Prantalay-12 and Prantalay-14, in April last year off Somalia coast with 49 crew members. The trawlers were going to Djibouti when they were hijacked off Somalia coast. The pirates demanded a ransom of US$ 9 million from the owner to release the vessels, but the owner refused to pay. "His three trawlers cumulatively cost only US$ 600,000. The pirates, however, would not relent. This led to a stand-off that stretched for 10 long months, before a Naval operation ended it on Sunday," said an officer from Yellow Gate police station. Strapped of resources, the pirates during this time provided little food to the hostages. "Four crew members on Prantalay-14 fell sick and died due to lack of medical supplies. One crew member from ...

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Iran navy saves Hong Kong ship from pirate attacks

32 people onboard The Iranian Navy foils attempts by pirates to hijack a Hong Kong ship in the Gulf of Aden.The merchant vessel, with 32 people on board, which was sailing en route from Italy to Australia, was attacked by Somali pirates during the course of Friday night, but they were swiftly encountered by ships of the 12th Fleet of the Navy. The Iranian Navy has so far dispatched a number of military warships to the Gulf of Aden to guard Iranian and foreign vessels sailing in international waters. Pirates operating off the coast of Somalia have expanded the reach of their hijacking attacks on merchant vessels and oil tankers in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden over the past 2 years, making tens of millions of dollars in ransom, despite the fact that dozens of foreign naval vessels are patrolling the area.Source: Tehran Times

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Malaysia extends detention of Somali pirates

Extended by 6 days Malaysian authorities have extended by six days a detention order against seven Somali pirates captured by Malaysian forces last month in a raid to free a hijacked oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden.A police spokesman told AFP that investigators need more time to complete their probe into the case, a historic bid by an Asian country to prosecute bandits operating off the coast of lawless Somalia."The extended detention is to enable police to complete their investigations," a spokesman from police headquarters in the capital Kuala Lumpur told AFP.The seven have been held on remand in Malaysia since January 31 when they arrived on board the tanker MT Bunga Laurel, which was seized by pirates along with its crew of 23 on January 20.The tanker was headed to Singapore with a cargo of lubricating oil worth more than $10 million when high-seas bandits armed with AK-47 assault rifles boarded and took control of the ship.Malaysian naval commandos from a vessel protecting shipping in the Gulf of Aden, along with a navy attack helicopter, responded to a distress call and captured the pirates after a brief firefight.A day later, South Korean forces captured another five pirates in ...

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UAE hosts global summit on piracy threat

International Conference about piracy threat The Foreign Ministry and DP World are organising an international conference to explore ways to safeguard shipping against the growing threat of Somali piracy.The event, set for April 17 to 19, will bring together foreign dignitaries and industry experts to discuss a "regional response towards a joint approach against maritime piracy", said the state news agency WAM.Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, extended the first public invitations this week to his Syrian and Lebanese counterparts."Piracy is a growing problem that is having a direct impact on shipping lines and an indirect impact on the supply chain as a whole," said DP World, the third largest ports operator in the world, based in Dubai.The conference comes as the economic and humanitarian cost of piracy has reached record highs. This year, pirates have seized seven vessels and 148 crew members, for a total of 33 vessels and 758 crew members, according to the International Maritime Bureau.The number of captive ships and seafarers is at its highest yet, said Nato representative Cdr Stein Olav Hagalid, speaking on the sidelines of a piracy conference earlier this week. Average ransoms now top US$5 million (Dh18.3m) and average ...

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Somali man held in isolation after alleged threats to ship captain

Somali man in isolation for more than one year Somali man who pleaded guilty to hostage-taking last year in the hijacking of a U.S.-flagged ship has been held in isolation for more year after he allegedly ordered from jail that the captain of another ship be killed, according to court documents.Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, 21 years old, pleaded guilty last May to hostage-taking and conspiracy in the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama in the Indian Ocean in April 2009.In court papers filed Wednesday, his lawyers said the U.S. Attorney General determined that Mr. Muse should be held under so-called "special administrative measures" in January 2010 after a probe into whether he had instructed pirate crew members to kill another boat captain.The government determined two phone calls by Mr. Muse while in custody corroborated the threat, his lawyers said in court papers."The two prison calls identified by the government do not provide proof of any such threat," his lawyers said. "We believe the government has misinterpreted these calls. We do acknowledge, however, that Abduwali discussed piracy matters over the phone."Mr. Muse is no longer subject to the restrictive measures, but remains in solitary confinement at a federal jail in lower Manhattan, his ...

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Navy to continue heavy patrolling against pirates

A continuous effort to tackle piracy After one of its fast attack craft sunk a pirate mother ship near Lakshadweep, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma today said his force will continue to carry out "heavy patrolling" against pirates there."We have already put in very heavy patrolling as far as our waters are concerned and that is the reason why this pirate ship could be tackled...This effort would continue," he told reporters here.Last week, a Naval Fast Attack Craft (FAC) sunk a pirate mothership named 'Prantalay' 75 miles off Lakshadweep saving the 20-member crew of the hijacked vessel on-board and arrested 15 pirates from it.To thwart any piracy attempts around Lakshadweep, the Coast Guard along with the Navy has launched the Operation Island Watch along the Lakshadweep Islands.Noting that the joint Coast Guard and Navy patrols were keeping a strict vigil there, he said, "That is why it just did not carry out an attack and escape and that is why in good time, we could detect it and take action."In the recent past, activities of pirates around Lakshadweep have increased and they were also successful in hijacking a Bangladeshi-flagged merchant vessel about 90 nautical miles off Kochi and 80 nautical ...

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