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The sailors of the Mv RIM rebel and free themselves from the pirates (Maj2)

(BRUSSELS2) The crew of the Libyan ship Mv RIM has regained control of his ship which had been captured by pirates, we learned from the HQ of Atalanta, the European anti-piracy operation. Among the ten crew members, all Syrian, one of the sailors was seriously injured during the incident. The Mv RIM which flies the North Korean flag was captured in the Gulf of Aden, north of the corridor, on February 2.

The “liberation” took place off the coast of Somalia, southeast of Garacad, a city of refuge for pirates. Warned, the Spanish EUNAVFOR ship, the Victoria, which was 100 nautical miles away, headed towards the ship on the orders of the European force commander. He sent his helicopter to do a first reconnaissance. He was thus able to confirm that the ship was in the hands of the crew. Other pirates, who were in the area aboard another pirated ship, the Voc Daisy, have decided to lead a counter-offensive. But the arrival of the Spanish helicopter dissuaded them.

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A Victoria RHIB then brought a security team, including a doctor and nurse, to the merchant ship. The weather conditions prevented an evacuation by boat; the injured person was transported by helicopter. He was then treated by the Victoria's ship's doctor.

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A moving capture

According to the NGO Ecoterra, this release was the result of internal rivalries between several pirate bands which caused 9 Somalis to die. 6 pirates were taken prisoner, according to her, and kept on board. The capture of the ship had not been easy for the pirates. HAS LasKorey, on the Somali coast of the Gulf of Aden. gunfire is exchanged with Puntland forces. Arriving at Garacad, their lair, “Elders” would have tried to intervene, and the pirates, forced to move, had headed towards the area around Kulub. Negotiations had begun with the Libyan owner of the boat. Difficult negotiations apparently to the point that the pirates threatened to kill their hostages. All under the noses of warships, Ecoterra points out. One incident – ​​with fire from pirates – even took place.

Cargo inquiry

The Mv RIM was heading from Eritrea to Yemen when it was captured by pirates. Questions are being asked about its cargo, according to the NGO Ecoterra, which emphasizes that the ransom of $3 million, demanded by the pirates, is disproportionate compared to this type of boat and crew. There are rumors of weapons being transported. In any case, the MV RIM is neither registered with MSCHOA (the EU merchant marine anti-piracy system) nor with the UKMTO (British system). And he is not covered by ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) agreements nor has proper insurance.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(photo credit: Spanish Navy) updated June 5

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).