Archive for the ‘pirates’ Category

Naval Shps from Around The Globe Watch For Pirates. Where is China?

December 4, 2008

Among the naval forces of the world on guard against Somali pirates, China is conspicuously absent.  Today, a Chinese general asks “If China wants to be a world power, how come we are poweless so often?”

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A Chinese general has called for the country’s navy to join the fight against Somali pirates, saying the mission would boost China’s international stature and give its sailors valuable experience in fighting open ocean combat operations far from their home ports.

Chinese ships have been among those seized in a wave of pirate attacks this year, including the fishing vessel Tianyu No. 8, seized in mid-November.

International warships from NATO and countries including Russia patrol the Gulf of Aden and have created a security corridor in the area under a U.S.-led initiative, but attacks have not abated.

Russia says it will send more ships to patrol the area off the coast of Somalia.
Russian Navy warship passes through the Suez canal and goes toward pirate patrol….

“Piracy doesn’t just interfere in our country’s navigational safety, it also impedes our development and interests,” Major General Jin Yinan told state radio.

“I think our navy should send ships to the Gulf of Aden to carry out anti-piracy duties,” Jin said, according to a transcript of the interview posted Thursday on the Web site of the official China News Service. The date of the interview was not given.

In this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo made available by Indian Navy, ... 
In this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo made available by Indian Navy, Indian warship INS Tabar, right, escorts the MV Jag Arnav ship to safety after rescuing it from a hijack attempt by Somali pirates. The Indian navy says the INS Tabar dedicated to fighting pirates has successfully fought off an attempted pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden, sparking explosions and a fire on the suspected pirate ship late Tuesday, Nov. 18.(AP Photo/Indian Navy, HO, File)

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy has little experience operating at long-range, its primary mission being coastal patrol. However, the service is believed to have major ambitions, possibly including the eventual deployment of an aircraft carrier.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081204/ap_on_re_as/as_china_piracy_1

The French warship Nivose escorts commercial ships in the Gulf ... 
The French warship Nivose escorts commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/Eric Cabanis)

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Somali pirates agree deal for Ukrainian ship release

November 30, 2008

Pirates guarding an arms-laden Ukrainian ship said Sunday that it would be released within days, but the fate of a Saudi oil carrier was unclear hours from a 25-million-dollar ransom demand’s expiry.

Sugule Ali, spokesman for the pirates who hijacked the MV Faina in September with its cargo of battle tanks and weapons, said it was “a matter of technicality and time” before the vessel was freed.

AFP

A handout photo provided by the US Navy shows the Belize-flagged ... 
A handout photo provided by the US Navy shows the Belize-flagged Ukrainian cargo MV Faina off Somalia’s Indian Ocean coast. Pirates guarding the arms-laden Ukrainian ship said Sunday that it would be released within days, but the fate of a Saudi oil carrier was unclear hours from a 25-million-dollar ransom demand’s expiry.(AFP/HO/File)

“I can’t tell you what the ransom is, but what can I say is that agreement has finally been reached,” Ali told AFP from the ship.

“Within four days, we must leave and we are preparing for the safe landing of our members,” he said. “We have no doubt this problem will be resolved and I hope the owners will honour the last remaining points.”

The MV Faina was hijacked on September 25 on its way to Kenya, ferrying 33 Soviet-type battle tanks, anti-air systems, rocket launchers and ammunition. The ship has a crew of 17 Ukrainians, three Russians and one Latvian.

“Our members are very tired and the crew are also very tired. We all want this matter to be resolved.

“We were very lenient during the discussions because the community in the area was putting pressure on us to release the ship, especially the elders.” Ali explained.

The US military has overflown the hijacked vessel several times to take pictures of the crew lined up on the bridge and verify that all were in good health.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/200
81130/wl_africa_afp/so
maliashippingpiracy_081130170022

The Sirius Star anchored off the coast of Somalia on November ...
The Sirius Star anchored off the coast of Somalia on November 19. Somali pirates demanding $25 million for a Saudi super-tanker are hoping for a “favourable” reply as the deadline for paying the ransom loomed.(AFP/Ho)

Somai Pirates: Crew Makes Daring Escape

November 29, 2008

Two British ship security guards and their Irish colleague escaped kidnapping on Friday by jumping into the sea as Somali pirates hijacked a Singaporean tanker in the Gulf of Aden – the latest in a soaring spate of attacks.

By Mike Pflanz in Nairobi
The Telegraph (UK)
The men leapt overboard and were rescued by a German navy helicopter before being flown to the safety of a French frigate nearby.

At least another 25 of the crew, from India and Bangladesh, were still on the Liberian-flagged Biscaglia last night, a chemical tanker which was sailing through the pirate-infested waters between Somalia and Yemen.

The three worked for Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions, a shipping protection firm headquartered in Poole, Dorset.

“APMSS are aware of an incident that occurred this morning on a chemical tanker Biscaglia,” said Nick Davis, a former pilot who set up the company earlier this year.

Somali hostages - British crew jump overboard as pirates hijack another tanker off Somalia

The men, who were rescued by the German navy, board a helicopter from the French Frigate to begin their journey home Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

“We have been informed by coalition military authorities that three of our unarmed security staff were rescued from the water by a coalition helicopter and are currently on board a coalition warship in the Gulf of Aden.

“We have established procedures in place to deal with this and are working hard with the ship owners to assist in this fast developing situation. Our prime concern is the safety of all the people involved.”

Five pirates in a small open speedboat approached the Biscaglia in broad daylight yesterday morning and succeeded in boarding despite the security detachment.

Mr Davis’s firm uses a variety of non-lethal tools to keep pirates away, including audio and magnetic acoustic devices which broadcast messages and even debilitating sonic squeals over long distances.

It is not clear if this equipment was deployed on the Biscaglia.

Noel Choong, head of the piracy reporting centre at the International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, confirmed that the ship sent a distress call at 0447 GMT.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/piracy/
3533644/British-crew-jump-overboard-as-pirates-
hijack-another-tanker-off-Somalia.html

Somali Pirates Hijack Chemical Tanker, Release Greek Cargo Ship

November 28, 2008

Somali pirates hijacked a chemical tanker with dozens of Indian crew members Friday and a helicopter rescued three security guards who had jumped into the sea, officials said.

Greek authorities, meanwhile, said a Greek-owned cargo ship seized by Somali pirates more than two months ago was released Thursday and that all 25 crew members are unharmed. No details were immediately released.

A warship on patrol near Friday’s attack on the chemical tanker sent helicopters to intervene, but they arrived after pirates had taken control of the Liberian-flagged ship, according to Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center in Malaysia.

The international naval patrols were set up to fight increasingly brazen pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia’s coast, a major international shipping lane through which about 20 tankers sail daily. Friday’s was the 97th ship hijacking this year.

–AP

The ship master had sent a distress call to the piracy reporting center, which relayed the alert to international forces policing Somali waters, Choong said. No details about how the pirates attacked or the condition of the crew were available immediately.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,458585,00.html

The Sirius Star anchored off the coast of Somalia on November ... 
The Sirius Star anchored off the coast of Somalia on November 19. Somali pirates dodged an increased foreign naval presence in the Gulf of Aden to seize another ship as the deadline ticked down for a Saudi tanker held to ransom.

IN THE GULF OF ADEN (AFP) – Somali pirates dodged an increased foreign naval presence in the Gulf of Aden to seize another ship on Friday as the deadline ticked down for a Saudi tanker held to ransom.

They also freed a Greek freighter held since September, leaving 17 ships still in their hands despite their shrinking room for manoeuvre as foreign warships stepped up their efforts to contain a scourge threatening world trade.

Five pirates on fishing boats attacked the Biscaglia, a Liberia-flagged oil and chemical tanker, and boarded the vessel with a ladder, the commander of a nearby French frigate, Nivose, told AFP.

Three crew were fished out by a German navy helicopter after they jumped overboard to escape the pirates, said Jean-Marc Le Quilliec. The three rescued crewmen were later brought on board the Nivose.

The French frigate was escorting a Panamanian-flagged Norwegian bulk carrier and had attracted in its wake at least 17 other ships seeking protection but the Liberian tanker had stayed its course.

On Thursday, pirates also freed the Maltese-flagged Greek ship MV Centauri hijacked two months ago in the Indian Ocean, Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers Association told AFP.

The Centauri, with an all-Filipino crew, was seized on September 18 some 200 miles (320 kilometres) south of Somalia’s lawless capital Mogadishu.

“The ship was freed yesterday along with the crew. It is on its way to Mombasa,” (Kenya’s main port), said Mwangura, adding that it was unclear whether any ransom was paid.

Manila confirmed that all 26 Filipino mariners on the ship were free and a spokesperson for the Navigation Maritime company in Athens said they were all in good health.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081128/wl_africa_afp/
somaliapiracyshipping_081128170718

Sierra Leone pirates attack Chinese vessel

November 27, 2008

Sierra Leone police say pirates attacked a Chinese fishing vessel in a rare attack off West Africa that ended with four suspects dead.

The pirates forced the crew to hand over their cargo of fish before being caught by security forces.

Police spokesman Mohamed Samura says four of the eight pirates were killed early Wednesday in a clash with the Sierra Leone navy. Two were shot and two drowned. The other pirates were arrested.

Samura said the pirates are from neighboring Guinea.

Piracy has become increasingly common off the coast of Somalia in East Africa. But it is relatively uncommon in West Africa.

–AP

India navy defends piracy sinking

November 26, 2008

The Indian navy has defended its action in sinking a ship near Somalia that maritime officials have confirmed was a hijacked Thai fishing boat.

The International Maritime Bureau said the Ekawat Nava 5 had been captured by pirates earlier in the day on 18 November and the crew was tied up.

An Indian Navy picture shows an alleged pirate vessel burning ... 
An Indian Navy picture shows an alleged pirate vessel burning after being hit during anti-piracy operations at sea in the Gulf of Aden on November 18. A maritime watchdog said Wednesday that the Indian navy had attacked and sunk a Thai fishing trawler after mistaking it for a Somali pirate “mother vessel” in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/Indian Navy/Ho/File)

BBC

One crewman was found alive after six days adrift but 14 are still missing.

The Indian navy says the INS Tabar fired upon a pirate ship threatening it

The Indian navy said the ship was a pirate vessel in “description and intent” and had opened fire first.

India is one of several countries currently patrolling the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, amid increasing attacks by Somali pirates.

Almost 40 ships have been seized this year, the biggest the Saudi oil tanker, Sirius Star, which is still being held off the Somali coast.

File photo of the Indian naval warship INS Tabar. A maritime ... 
File photo of the Indian naval warship INS Tabar. A maritime watchdog said Wednesday that the Indian navy had attacked and sunk a Thai fishing trawler after mistaking it for a Somali pirate “mother vessel” in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/Indian Navy/Ho/File)

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7749486.stm

What to Do About Piracy, Pirates?

November 26, 2008

By James A. Lyons
The Washington Times

The latest hijacking of the newly commissioned Saudi Aramco mega-tanker, the Sirius Star, 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya, in the Indian Ocean has raised the issue of piracy to a new level.

The tanker’s displacement is 3 times that of a U.S. aircraft carrier. Piracy hijackings in maritime choke points have gone on for years. The Straits of Malacca in Southeast Asia had been a favorite pirate area until brought under acceptable control by the countries in the area, led by Singapore. With no functioning government, pirate attacks along the southeastern coast of Somali have long been a problem.

What’s different is that the Somali pirates have expanded their area of operations into the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and now the Indian Ocean (I.O.). The ability of the pirates to intercept this mega-tanker so far out in the I.O. suggests they were able to obtain either track information from an outside source or they were electronically able to intercept the ship’s Automatic Identification System (AIS). The AIS system is driven by Radio Frequencies (RD) that can be intercepted and tracked by any ship with an RF intercept capability.

The Gulf of Aden has become the most dangerous transit route for maritime ships in the world. As a result, it has interrupted traditional maritime routes causing interest rates to jump and has significantly raised the operating costs to ship operators.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/
nov/26/countering-piracy/

Russia sending more ships in pirate crackdown

November 21, 2008

Russia will send additional ships to the Horn of Africa in an effort to crack down on the recent wave of hijackings by Somalia-based pirates, its navy chief said Thursday.

CNN

Russia says it will send more ships to patrol the area off the coast of Somalia.

Russia says it will send more ships to patrol the area off the coast of Somalia.
The Russian frigate Neustrashimy is already in the region and has helped repel pirate attacks on at least two ships. Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky told the official news agency Ria Novosti that more ships would be joining it soon.

“After Neustrashimy, Russia will be sending warships from other fleets to this region,” Vysotsky said. No additional details were provided.

A NATO-led international fleet has attempted to crack down on the attacks. An Indian frigate battled a pirate ship in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday, leaving the ship ablaze and likely sunk, the country’s defense ministry reported.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/11/20/russia.
pirates.navy.somalia/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Five Nations Meet In Emergency Anti-Pirate Discussions

November 20, 2008

A spate of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia has prompted an emergency meeting between nations bordering the Red Sea to deal with the problem.

Senior officials from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen are meeting in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

BBC

It comes amid a report that pirates who hijacked a Saudi oil tanker on Saturday are demanding a $25m (£17m) ransom.

However, the Sirius Star’s owners, who are negotiating with the pirates, have cast doubt on that figure.

The Sirius Star, the biggest tanker ever hijacked, is carrying a cargo of 2m barrels – a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s daily output – worth more than $100m.

It is now anchored off the Somali coast with around 25 crew members being held as hostages.

Sirius Star off the coast of Somalia (US Navy image via Getty Images)

The Sirius Star has 25 crew – who are said to be unharmed.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7739153.stm

Somali pirates transform villages into boomtowns

November 19, 2008

Somalia’s increasingly brazen pirates are building sprawling stone houses, cruising in luxury cars, marrying beautiful women — even hiring caterers to prepare Western-style food for their hostages.

And in an impoverished country where every public institution has crumbled, they have become heroes in the steamy coastal dens they operate from because they are the only real business in town.

By MOHAMED OLAD HASSAN and ELIZABETH KENNEDY, Associated Press Writers

“The pirates depend on us, and we benefit from them,” said Sahra Sheik Dahir, a shop owner in Haradhere, the nearest village to where a hijacked Saudi Arabian supertanker carrying $100 million in crude was anchored Wednesday.

These boomtowns are all the more shocking in light of Somalia’s violence and poverty: Radical Islamists control most of the country’s south, meting out lashings and stonings for accused criminals. There has been no effective central government in nearly 20 years, plunging this arid African country into chaos.

Some of the eight suspected Somali pirates when they appeared ... 
Some of the eight suspected Somali pirates when they appeared before the Mombasa Chief Magistrate Catherine Mwangi , Wednesday, Nov.19 ,.2008 to be charged for piracy. The pirates were not immediately charged as their charged had not been prepared. The suspects were returned to the cells awaiting to be charged ..In an impoverished country where nearly every public institution has crumbled, pirates have transformed local economies in pirate dens like Haradhere and Eyl in northern Somalia, pumping money into areas where there had been little more than fishmongers and women selling magoes by the seashore for the past 20 years.(AP Photo)

Life expectancy is just 46 years; a quarter of children die before they reach 5.

But in northern coastal towns like Haradhere, Eyl and Bossaso, the pirate economy is thriving thanks to the money pouring in from pirate ransoms that have reached $30 million this year alone.

“There are more shops and business is booming because of the piracy,” said Sugule Dahir, who runs a clothing shop in Eyl. “Internet cafes and telephone shops have opened, and people are just happier than before.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081119/ap_on_re_af/af_pirate_
boomtown;_ylt=AhcD9m_1erjHfIxz1xm3H8Os0NUE