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Piracy and Security News

Nigerian Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea a Major Risk for Merchant Shipping

The Gulf of Guinea continues to be one of the most dangerous bodies of water in the world for merchant shipping. Armed and dangerous pirate gangs from the Niger Delta have been responsible for attacking commercial vessels throughout the wider region, conducting armed robberies, stealing oil and abducting crew for ransom. This article presents the EOS Risk Group intelligence department’s 2016 infographic for Nigerian piracy and a Q&A with EOS’ Senior Intelligence Analyst, Jake Longworth. Q. What were the key developments for maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea in ...

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Protection Vessels International: Weekly Maritime Security Report

Somalia: Puntland calls on NATO to combat illegal fishing after hijacking 20 March Puntland’s Vice President Abdihakim Abdullahi Omar requested that NATO warships work to combat illegal fishing in the region, following the hijacking of the Aris 13 bunkering tanker on 13 March, which marked the first successful hijacking of a major commercial vessel in the region since May 2012. Omar warned that there could be further hijackings if illegal fishing, a major local grievance, continues. Puntland forces said that they successfully secured the release of the eight Sri Lankan ...

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Somali piracy dilemma over General Average treatment of shipowners’ expenses is highlighted at Association of Average Adjusters event in London

Marine average adjusters are at the centre of a conflict over whether shipowners should be compensated for having to stump up thousands of dollars in extra costs when extricating their vessels from the hands of Somali pirates. Although the sum at stake in the incident that has led to the controversy is modest in commercial terms, argument over the principle at issue is about to go all the way to the Supreme Court, the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases. Opinion is sharply divided within the ...

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Lankan naval expert seeks holistic approach to piracy

A former Sri Lankan navy chief who is now an academic, Admiral Dr. Jayanath Colombage, has said that the seizure of an oil tanker by Somali pirates in the Horn of Africa on March 13 after a gap of five years, shows that there is an urgent need for a holistic approach to piracy which should include political, economic, military, administrative, legal and financial components. The pirates had seized the bunkering tanker Aris 13 while it was sailing from Djibouti to Mogadishu. Flying the Comoros flag, the 1188 ton vessel ...

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With reduced patrols and illegal fishing, Somalia’s pirates could be making a comeback

Last week (Mar. 16), Somali pirates finally released a Comoros-flagged oil tanker that they seized off the coast of Somalia a few days earlier. They agreed to forego their demand for ransom after learning that a Somali businessman had hired the ship to take oil from Djibouti to the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The incident was evidence for those who argue piracy off the Somali shores isn’t over yet despite it being the first major pirate attack since 2012. For such people, it also showed some of the motives that led ...

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Somali regional anti-piracy chief says sacked over illegal fishing comments

The head of anti-piracy operations in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia said he had been fired for speaking out about illegal fishing, which he claims could trigger a new outbreak of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Pirates hijacked an oil tanker off Somalia last week, the first such attack in the region since 2012 after shipping firms hired private security and international warships started patrolling nearby waters. Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, director of anti-piracy operations in Puntland, said the province’s president sacked him after he told journalists that permits had ...

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Somali pirates told hostages on UAE-managed tanker to say final goodbyes

The woman whose sailor husband was taken hostage by Somali pirates said he and the rest of his crew were forced to call home to speak to their families “for the last time”. The hostages, who were on board a UAE-managed tanker, were given less than a minute to say “final goodbyes” to relatives in Sri Lanka last week during an exchange of fire with Puntland counter piracy forces off Somalia’s north-eastern coast. The eight Sri Lankan crewmen aboard the tanker Aris 13 are recovering in Bosaso port in Puntland ...

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Somali security forces that freed pirated ship say NATO must do more

Somali officials whose forces freed a hijacked oil tanker and its eight Sri Lankan crew said on Sunday that NATO ships must do more to prevent the illegal fishing that locals say sparked the latest attack. Monday’s hijacking was the first time that Somali pirates had successfully hijacked a commercial ship since 2012. Unlike previous hijackings, the ship was freed swiftly and with no ransom paid after the Puntland Maritime Police Force intervened. The intervention reassured shipping companies concerned that resurgent pirates could once again threaten one of the world’s ...

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Ship Hijacking Shows Somali Piracy Risk Still High, UN Says

The hijacking of a fuel tanker off Somalia’s coast shows the threat pirates still pose to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, a risk that may also hamper the Horn of African country’s efforts to explore for offshore oil and gas, a United Nations official said. “This is absolutely a return of piracy,” Alan Cole, head of the UN’s Global Maritime Crime Programme, said of the March 13 hijacking of the Aris 13 freighter in waters off Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region. The tanker was the first commercial ship seized ...

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Singapore Supports ReCAAP ISC’s Roadmap for the Future

Singapore, as a Contracting Party to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (ReCAAP) and host to the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC), is pleased to have participated in the 11th Governing Council meeting held from 14-16th March 2017. At this meeting, the Governing Council endorsed the roadmap and strategies to strengthen ReCAAP ISC as a Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing on piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia by 2020. The Roadmap was the result of several rounds of consultations and discussions amongst Governors, ...

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Somalia pirates: Anger fuels return of ship attacks

A volatile build-up of weapons and resentment along the northern Somali coast culminated in the hijack of an oil freighter this week, the first such seizure by Somali pirates since 2012, experts and locals say. Gunmen hijacked the Aris 13, a small oil tanker, on Monday and are demanding a ransom to release the ship and its eight Sri Lankan crew, the European Union Naval Force that patrols the waters off Somalia said on Wednesday. Now shipping companies are scrambling to find out whether the attack is a one-off, or ...

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Somali pirates release hijacked ship, crew without ransom

Somali pirates released a hijacked oil tanker and its eight Sri Lankan crew on Thursday, a Somali security official and the pirates said, bringing the first hijacking since 2012 to an unusually swift conclusion without the payment of a ransom. The release followed a gunfight earlier in the day between the pirates and the marine force, and then intensive negotiations between the marine force, clan elders and the pirates. “There has been discussion going on after the gunfight of this afternoon … We pulled our forces back and so the ...

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What’s luring pirates back into a major shipping channel?

Struggling to push his small fishing boat out to sea, Hassan Yasin grumbles over what he and other coastal Somalis call a threat to their way of life: harassment by illegal fishermen and attacks by large foreign trawlers. “They will either shoot us on sight or destroy our boats,” the skinny 27-year-old said, yanking on a rope to start the engine groaning. Along the seashore are sand-filled boats that fishermen say belong to colleagues who abandoned the work because of the dangers involved. Monday’s hijacking of an oil tanker off ...

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Low, slow and too close to the coast, oil tanker Aris 13 was an easy target for Somali pirates

Pirates off the coast of Somalia, who hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, are demanding a ransom for the release of the vessel, the EU Naval Force said. The pirates seized the Comoros-flagged Aris 13 tanker on Monday, the first such hijacking in the region since 2012, and took it to the port of Alula in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland. “The EU Naval Force … has received positive confirmation from the master of … Aris 13, that his ship and crew are currently ...

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Somalia ship hijack: Maritime piracy threatens to return

The hijacking of a merchant fuel tanker by pirates off the Somali coast this week has sent shockwaves through parts of the shipping industry. It is the first successful hijacking of a major commercial vessel in the Somali Basin since 2012 and is prompting debate over whether shipping companies have become complacent about the risk of maritime piracy. The MT Aris 13 was travelling from Djibouti to Mogadishu on 13 March when, instead of giving the Somali coast a wide berth as advised, it took a short cut between the ...

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