News Blogmaritime piracy

Latest piracy news (April 17, 2011) (Update)

(BRUSSELS2) The offensive action of multinational forces continues leading to a recovery of force or destruction of pirate mother ships or dhows that can be used as mother ships. This week, at least three dhows were taken back.

A summit to seek a common approach against piracy… and funding
A major meeting is being held on Monday and Tuesday in Dubai, bringing together representatives of the maritime industry and governments from 50 countries, at the invitation of the United Arab Emirates and maritime operator DP World. Objective of this conference called “Global Challenge, Regional Responses: Forging A Common Approach to Maritime Piracy”: find short-term security, economic and longer-term development solutions. On the sidelines of the conference, the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations are meeting with the various partners of the Trust fund, to raise funds, both public and private, intended to implement the various projects authorized by the recent UN resolution: prisons in Somalia, Somali jurisdiction to judge pirates, fishing development projects, etc. See the site.

Friday (April 15) Despite the ransom, part of the crew was not released.

THEAsphalt adventure, a Norwegian ship captured on September 28, 2010, was released for a ransom of $3,5 million. But not the whole crew! Of the 15 Indian sailors who formed the crew, only 8 are free. 7 others are held hostage by the pirates. This is the first time that such a division of the crew has taken place after the delivery of the ransom. We can think of reprisals against the particularly offensive action of the Indian navy. This has not only arrested numerous pirates (120 in recent months). But the harsh method used – sinking the mother ship concerned – caused numerous victims among the pirates.

Wednesday 13 April). A ransom negotiator arrested in Somalia and transferred to the USA.

US justice has indicted, a Somali, Mohammad Saaili Shibin, who was one of the accomplices in the capture of the American yacht, S.V. Quest. Its occupants were all killed during the assault. He was transferred to Norfolk, Virginia, where he had previously been charged. He was arrested on April 4 on Somali territory by the FBI, US and Somali forces. He is the first “pirate” to be arrested in Somalia, since the Ponant suspects recaptured on land by French commandos. But he's not exactly a sea rogue. It was rather one of the rear supports of the operation. He was notably identified as searching the internet for exactly who the hostages were to determine the amount of ransom that could be demanded. He was also said to have been involved in other matters, notably in the negotiation of the German ship Marida Marguerite. Shibin told the FBI he received $30.000 for the work. Read also: The 4 hostages of the SV Quest are dead: in the assault?

Wednesday 13 April). Two ships released for ransom

The German shipowner Beluga, the Beluga Nomination, was released for a ransom of $5 million. The deaths of two sailors have been confirmed. Also read: The capture of the Beluga Nomination by the pirates goes wrong. The day before, the Thai freighter Mv Thor Nexus was released, confirmed the European anti-piracy HQ. He had been captured on Christmas Day 2010. The ship and its crew of 27 sailors are heading for a safe port.

Tuesday, April 12). Piracy in full swing in the Indian Ocean.

The report published by the International Maritime Bureau sets a new record. For the first quarter of 2011, 142 pirate attacks, including 97 in the Indian Ocean, more than double for the same period last year (35). 45 boats were boarded and 45 others were fired upon. But... only 18 were captured by pirates: 15 in the Indian Ocean or the Arabian Sea and 1 in the Gulf of Aden.

Tuesday (April 12) A destroyed pirate skiff.

The USS Mason (member of CTF 151) located a suspicious dhow using the onboard helicopter, an SH-60B Seahawk. During the radio discussions, the American military observed that the suspects got rid of numerous pirate materials, including a skiff and a ladder. The skiff is destroyed.

Monday april 11th). Liberation of a Yemeni dhow held by pirates.

The Australian ship HMAS Stuart (member of the CTF 151 force) frees another Yemeni dhow, the Al Shahar 75, held by pirates, west of the island of Socotra. He had been captured 20 days earlier. 18 people were on board. Three crew members were released (the other crew members had been transferred a few days to another pirate ship, using a now commonly used technique of dividing the crew). And 15 suspects arrested. “The operation was carried out without firing from either side,” announced the Australian navy. On board were found 11 AK47 rifles and 16 ammunition magazines, one RPG. The weapons were seized and the suspects released, the Yemeni dhow escorted to a safer area…

Sunday (April 10). Another dhow released

USS Mason (CTF 151) frees a captured dhow from pirates. THE F.V. Nasri had been spotted by an Australian maritime patrol plane the day before which had detected a skiff with a ladder and numerous barrels of gasoline. 11 suspects were identified and 5 crew members released.

Saturday (April 2). An Iranian dhow released by the Danish Navy.

The Danish frigate Esbern Snare (NATO / Ocean Shield) freed a dhow (Hormuz) by force on April 2. 18 hostages – 16 Pakistanis and 2 Iranians – were released. The warning shots were not enough. The pirates responded according to the Danish sailors. During the exchange of fire, 3 pirates were injured during the assault. On board is a whole arsenal: 14 grenade launchers, nine AK-47 machine guns, two large boxes of machine gun ammunition, six ladders and three attack skiffs with powerful outboard motors, according to the Danish command. The injured were treated by the Danish ship's doctor and the medical team from the Dutch frigate De Tromp, which arrived as reinforcements. Their condition is considered “stable” indicates the Danish command. The ship was escorted into territorial waters. The suspects were kept in detention on board the ship and the special prosecution for international crimes was seized.

NB: The news was only revealed on April 11 by the Danish Operations Command (SOK)

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).