News Blogmaritime piracy

Latest news on piracy (May 13, 2012): two mother ships neutralized, a Greek tanker caught

(BRUSSELS2) Business is picking up, one might say. Somali pirates have managed to capture a Greek tanker, one of the few in several months. The anti-piracy forces neutralized two mother ships, one off the Somali coast, the other off the Yemeni coast. The pirates currently hold 8 ships, according to the European anti-piracy HQ in Northwood, and 235 hostages (not counting local dhows and dhows). Since the beginning of the year, the number of captures has decreased: there have only been 4 vessels captured in this way.

Neutralization of a mother ship off the coast of Somalia

On Friday (May 11), the Dutch soldiers of the Van Amstel (which participates in the European operation Eunavfor Atalanta) freed an Iranian dhow used as a mother ship by pirates, 400 miles off the Somali coast. The on-board helicopter had spotted this dhow which was dragging two small skiffs with ladders. The marine intervention team intervened. On board, they found weapons and ammunition. 11 suspected pirates were arrested and transferred to the frigate. The crew of 17 sailors was released and able to continue their journey, indicates the Dutch Navy General Staff. He had been captured ten days earlier.

…and another off the coast of Yemen

The same day, several miles away, a Yemenite dhow was liberated by the Turks from TCG Giresun, the flagship of the operation Ocean Shield (anti-piracy) of NATO on Friday (May 11). The helicopter on board, a Seahawk S-70B, spotted the dhow around 15 p.m. 190 miles from the coast of Yemen and stopped it. The boarding team then intervened and arrested 21 men: 14 Somali pirates and the 7 men from the crew of the dhow sui were released. On board a small arsenal (1 RPG 7 rocket launcher and nine AK 47s) which leave no doubt about the intentions of the dhow's destination.

Greek tanker captured by pirates

Le MT Smyrni, a Liberian-flagged Greek tanker managed by Dynacom, was captured by pirates on Thursday (May 10). He left Turkey with 135.000 tonnes of crude oil. Contact was lost off the coast of Oman around 11:15 Gmt. He took the road to Somalia. On board a crew of 17 sailors, Indian and Filipino.

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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).

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