European Union anti-piracy taskforce has reiterated the need for continued vigilance for all ships transiting the piracy high area at sea amid resurgence of Somali pirates who are holding an Indian vessel EU Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR)) also urged the foreign vessels to adhere to self-protection measures laid down in the Best Management Practices 4 (BMP4) and to report any suspicious sightings to the UK’s Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) centre. The call follows the pirating of an Indian registered cargo dhow with 11 crew off Somalia coast on April 1. The EU naval force said its Spanish maritime patrol aircraft has over flown the dhow, which is being held at anchor less than two miles from the coast near to Hobyo in Galmadug. “Despite several attempts to communicate via VHF radio, EU Naval force has not been able to speak to the crew. It is not clear if a ransom has been demanded for the vessel’s release,” the naval force said in a statement on Tuesday night. The cargo vessel, the Al Kaushar was en route from Dubai and Somalia’s Puntland port of Bosasso, but on 30 nautical miles off Hobyo was approached by small fishing boat with one man, who outwit crew that wants provisions and food, but later boarded the vessel and threaten the crew with machine gun. According to regional maritime expert, Andrew Mwangura, the armed pirate succeeded to take control and to seize the merchant vessel, heading to the Somali coast. “I have not established when the pirates have demanded for a ransom but they are still holding the dhow,” Mwangura told Xinhua by phone on Wednesday. Somali pirates have in the past received hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom from hijacking vessels resulting in some hostages being injured or killed in the process. Sources said the vessel was carrying sugar and wheat to the semi-autonomous region of Puntland when Al Kausar was hijacked in the vicinity of Socotra (Island). Somali pirates tend to be well-armed with automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade (RPG) and sometimes use skiffs launched from mother vessels, which may be hijacked fishing vessels or dhows, to conduct attacks far from the Somali coast. The pirating of the Indian dhow comes just three weeks after the fuel tanker, Aris 13, was held for four days by armed pirates. Whilst not yet confirmed, EU NAVFOR said it’s also investigating reports of another potential piracy incident with a dhow off the coast of Galmadug on Monday. The naval said its warships and maritime patrol aircraft are continuing their counter-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Ben Lawellin, Oceans Beyond Piracy’s Project Manager for the Horn of Africa said the hijacked Indian dhow is in the vicinity of the town of Ceel Huur which is south of Hobyo but could not confirm if the pirates have demanded ransom. “The latest information we have indicates that the dhow is in the vicinity of the town of Ceel Huur which is south of Hobyo. I have heard that a ransom demand has been made, but cannot confirm at this time if this is true or not,” Lawellin told Xinhua. The African maritime industry, along the Indian Ocean, had been greatly affected by piracy that often raise the costs of shipping as insurance companies and private ship security companies increased their premiums to mitigate the risks. The piracy incident had also affected the shipping sector by rise of cost of insurance as shippers took extra covers for war risk, kidnap and ransom in addition to conventional underwriting of cargo and hull. Since Somali piracy is largely a hijack-for-ransom business, it relies heavily on onshore support for infrastructure that provides food, water, fuel and the leafy narcotic khat to the militiamen who guard the hijacked ships throughout the ransom negotiation process. Source: Xinhua
Sharing our expertise on sustainable security systems
The Maritime Security Alliance is a platform of maritime stakeholders aimed to provide ships with non-lethal, non-violent protection against maritime crime. Continuous innovation and creative thinking of its expert team will improve security conditions for seafarers by ensuring effective, legitimate and affordable self-protection measures.
The Maritime Security Alliance offers the service of one single contact for integrated solutions against piracy.
- Sea Piracy: Navy flags off exercise “Obangame”
- Phillipines: Navy Exercises against Piracy Performed
- Cases of Nigerian Pirates Firing Upon Ships Soar
- AFRICA: PIRATES OPEN FIRE ON CRUDE OIL TANKER
- Pirates Attack Chemical Tanker off Somalia
- US Navy Requests $300M to Develop Shipboard Defensive Laser Weapons
- Gulf of Guinea piracy evolving, crew on moving vessels ‘easiest targets’
- Pirates Release Union Maritime Tanker Crew
- Rising piracy on Indian Ocean spells high insurance charges
- NIMASA Does Not Have Capacity To Fight Piracy