29 January 2010

Somali Pirates Hijack Cambodian Cargo Ship

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Somali gunmen hijacked a Cambodian cargo ship, the MV Layla-S, off Berbera after it unloaded at the port in the breakaway northern enclave of Somaliland, a regional maritime official said Thursday. "Crew members on board the ill-fated vessel are ... Pakistani, Indian, Sri Lankan, Somali and Syrian nationals," Andrew Mwangura of the Mombasa, Kenya-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Program said in a statement.
"It is said that the vessel has a link with Syrian and UAE businessmen. We are informed that she was taken by gunmen after discharging her cargo." The hijacking appeared to have happened Wednesday, but few other details were immediately available. The seizure came a week after Somali pirates freed a Greek-flagged tanker carrying 2 million barrels of oil for a record ransom.

Somaliland, which declared itself independent in 1991, is proud of its relative stability compared with the south of Somalia, where hardline Islamist rebels control large amounts of territory and are battling a weak Western-backed government.
Worldwide, piracy attacks rose by nearly 40 percent last year, with Somali gangs accounting for more than half the 406 reported incidents, the International Maritime Bureau says.
Typically, pirates from the failed Horn of Africa state hold the captured ships and crews hostage until ransoms are paid.
The International Chamber of Shipping, which represents 75 percent of the global seaborne industry, said this month that it felt deepening frustration at the international community's "impotence" in combating growing piracy in the Indian Ocean.
(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Somali ‘Pirates’ want to send loot confiscated from rich countries to Haiti

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Via Aporrea.org (translated)
Somali ‘Pirates’ want to send loot confiscated from rich countries to Haiti

Agencia Matriz del Sur

January 21, 2010 – Spokesmen for the so-called “Somali pirates” have expressed
willingness to transfer part of their loot captured from transnational boats
and send it to Haiti.

Leaders of these groups have declared they have links in various places around
the world to help them ensure the delivery of aid without being detected by
the armed forces of enemy governments.

The “pirates” typically redistribute a significant portion of their profits
among relatives and the local population. In their operations, the “pirates”
urge transnational corporations that own the cargo confiscated to pay back in
cash as banks can not operate in Somalia.

”The humanitarian aid to Haiti can not be controlled by the United States and
European countries; they have no moral authority to do so. They are the ones
pirating mankind for many years,” said the Somali spokesman.
Somalia, located at the eastern end of the Somalia Penisula adjacent to the
Gulf of Aden to the North and with the Indian ocean to the east, is located in
a very important position in the communication routes between Asia, Africa and
Europe and the Pacific.

Anti-pirate attack guidelines being ignored, UN says - BBC News

Anti-pirate attack guidelines being ignored, UN says - BBC News: "

BBC News

Anti-pirate attack guidelines being ignored, UN says
BBC News
"They are designed, even if pirates become technically more sophisticated... to prevent hijacking." The waters around Somalia are among the most dangerous ...


MSNBC: Most hijacked ships ignored safety precautions

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04 January 2010

AP: Filipino seafarers to undergo anti-piracy training

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AP Article via PhilStar.com

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – The Philippines has ordered its seafarers, comprising about a third of the world's commercial sailors, to go through anti-piracy training before they will be allowed to board ships, the labor secretary said Monday.

The training, which lasts about eight hours, will be mandatory from Jan. 15. The measure is a response to a wave ship hijackings, which remain a serious problem a year after an international naval armada began operating off Somalia to protect shipping lanes.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said sailors will be taught how to use fire hoses and maneuver their vessels to prevent pirates from scaling them. They will also learn how to manage hostage crises if they are taken captive.

"Everyone who will be deployed on board a ship will go through the training," Roque told The Associated Press.

Recruiting agencies will conduct the training and issue a certificate required by the government prior to a seafarer's departure, Roque said
The program is based on one used by the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, which operates about 80 percent of the world's tankers.

Sailors will not be armed and training classes will not include the handling of firearms, said Capt. Rex Recomite, a manager at the Norwegian Training Center in Manila.

The course will teach sailors how to detect approaching pirates and who to communicate with in case of an attack, he said. The guidelines include telling sailors to go full speed ahead in case the crew detects small vessels nearby, and to avoid sailing near coastlines, Recomite said.

The Philippines supplies about a third of the 1.5 million commercial seafarers worldwide. Somali pirates have kidnapped 470 Filipinos since 2006, and are still holding at least 74 aboard six ships, said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos.

Pirates operating off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, one of the world's busiest sea lanes, have hijacked more than 80 ships in the past two years, with many of the seizures earning them multimillion-dollar ransoms. Attackers now hold 14 vessels and close to 300 crew members. Four vessels were seized last week.

03 January 2010

Somali pirates seize two ships with Bulgarians, Romanians onboard

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SOFIA, Bulgaria -- A ship with 25 people onboard, including eight Bulgarians and two Romanians, was seized by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Friday (January 1st), Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Dragovest Goranov announced. The vessel, called "Asian Glory, was transporting vehicles from Singapore to Saudi Arabia. It was sailing under a British flag. (Focus, Standart, Mediafax, B92 - 02/01/10)

02 January 2010

Somali pirates seize Indonesian chemical tanker

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Somali pirates have hijacked a chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden - the third vessel seized in waters around Somalia this week.
Maritime officials said the Pramoni - a 20,000-tonne Indonesian-owned vessel - was seized en route to India and was now heading towards Somalia.
The ship has a crew of 24, most of whom are Indonesian.
Last Monday Somali pirates captured two other ships with 45 crew off the East African coast.
A UK-flagged chemical tanker, the St James Park, was captured in the Gulf of Aden while on its way to Thailand from Spain.
The Navios Apollon, a Panamanian-flagged Greek cargo ship with 19 crew, was hijacked north of the Seychelles.
In the latest incident, the captain of the Singapore-flagged Pramoni reported by radio that the ship had been hijacked but all the crew were well, the EU counter-piracy force Navfor said.
The ship's crew consists of 17 Indonesians, five Chinese, one Nigerian and one Vietnamese, it added.
Pirate attacks are common off the Somali coast and international navies have been deployed to counter them.

Somali Pirates Hijack U.K.-Flagged Ship; Fourth Vessel in Week

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Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Somali pirates hijacked a U.K.- flagged vessel, the British government said, marking the fourth ship seized in a week.
No British citizens were on the Asian Glory, a car carrier, when it was taken, a Foreign Office spokesman said by phone today. He was unable to provide additional details.
The vessel is the fourth seized by Somali pirates after the hijacking of the chemical tanker M/V Pramoni yesterday, the bulk carrier MV Navios Apollon on Dec. 28 and the MV St James Park the same day. The St. James Park has arrived off Somalia, the European Union Naval Force Somalia said on its Web site today.
“Our priority remains the quick and safe return of our crew and the ship,” London-based Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd., owners of the Asian Glory and St. James Park, said on its Web site yesterday. “We still have had no contact from the pirates.”
The hijackings are the first successful attacks on merchant ships in the 500-mile security corridor since July. Some 20 warships from the EU, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other countries patrol off Somalia, concentrating on the Gulf of Aden, a chokepoint leading to the Suez Canal that’s used by 30,000 ships a year carrying about a 10th of world trade.
Somali pirates now hold at least 12 ships, according to EU Navfor information and Bloomberg calculations. The Asian Glory has 25 crew, including eight Bulgarians, and was hijacked 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) off Somalia, Agence France Presse reported today, citing the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry.
The Asian Glory was built in 1994 and the St. James Park, a chemical carrier, in 1993 with a carrying capacity of 16,207 cubic meters, according to information on Zodiac Maritime’s Web site.