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Latest piracy news (August 29, 2011) (updated)

(BRUSSELS2) India sees Pakistan behind the pirates. According to the daily Times of India, the last pirates arrested, after the attack on MV Nafis-1 off the coast of Mumbai on August 14, had on board food packaged and manufactured in Pakistan, as well as a large quantity of foreign currency ($86.000 and 1.500 Saudi Riyal). Customs officials seized bags full of tea leaves they said were chewed by pirates (like khat) to keep them awake. Indian security services suspect their neighbor of waging a proxy war by providing logistical assistance to Somali pirates.

Monday (August 29). Reinforcements for Operation Atalanta and facing the humanitarian crisis

The frigate Cologne left the port of Wilhelmshaven (northern Germany) to join the EU anti-piracy operation deployed in the Indian Ocean. It is the second German frigate to be engaged simultaneously with the frigate Bavaria. She is expected to be in Djibouti in mid-September with her 220 crew members and soldiers. A Spanish corvette Infant Christina (P-77), an 88 meter long ship of the Descubierta class, left on August 17 from the port of Cartagena with around a hundred crew members as well as a team of “marines”. This is the second time that this ship has been engaged off the coast of Somalia. A Spanish amphibious ship, the Galicia, is already committed. Operation Atalanta should have 8 ships instead of the usual 6. This reinforcement comes as requests for escorts from World Food Program vessels increase with the food crisis in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.

The Koln from Wilhemhaven (credit: Bundeswehr / Sophie Fiebeler)

29 August. And Russian relief

A new detachment of Russian ships has left the port of Vladivostok to head for the Gulf of Aden, according to the RIA Novosti agency. This is the sixth detachment since Russian engagement in the Indian Ocean to fight against piracy. It includes the anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Panteleev, a supply ship and a tugboat, as well as marine infantry units.

27 August. The MV Polar and the Mv Eagle released

Somali pirates released the Panamanian-flagged Greek tanker Mv Polar and its crew in exchange for a ransom, the NGO Ecop pirates announced on August 28. One of the sailors is missing. He died three weeks after the ship was captured. The other 23 crew members are fine. The Mv Polar was captured on October 30, 2010. Liberation confirmed by the European HQ Eunavfor Atalanta on August 30: the ship is in a safe place in Salalah.

Another Greek ship, the bulk carrier MV Eagle, in a “poorly planned release operation”, and after a “substantial” ransom. But according to the NGO, the ship would be immobilized with an engine failure, escorted by a warship and a boat with security teams. The NGO fears a shipwreck “ in order to collect the insurance as was the case with MV Rak Africana and MV Suez recently ».

Monday (August 22) Pirate sentenced to life in prison in the USA

An East Virginia court judge on Monday (August 22) sentenced Ali Abdi Mohamed, a Somali, to life in prison for piracy. He was convicted of participating in the capture of an American pleasure vessel and 4 US hostages off the coast of Somalia. The 4 American hostages died between the attack and the assault carried out by the marines. The person concerned admitted his guilt like 10 other of his co-religionists.

Saturday (August 20) The Fairchem Bogey pirated near Oman

Flying the flag of the Marshall Islands, the 52.455 ton tanker Mv Fairchem Bogey is pirated while anchored in the port of Salalah (Oman), in the early hours of August 20. This is the first time that pirates have ventured so close to the Emirate. He headed for the Somali coast, confirmed the EU anti-piracy headquarters. On board a crew of 21 people.

Read also: Latest piracy news (August 14)

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).