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Jun-11-2010 23:30printcomments

UK-Flagged Vehicle-Carrier MV ASIAN GLORY Released by Pirates

The latest roundup / update on piracy through our friends at Ecoterra Intl: Status of Seized Vessels and Crews in Somalia & The Indian Ocean.

Salem-News.com
Hijacked MV Asian Glory was used to pick up pirates in February 2010. Courtesy: Maritime Bulleton

(NAIROBI, Kenya) - Six hours after a ransom drop on 11 June 2010 to the pirate group holding the car-carrier MV ASIAN GLORY at Kulub in the vicinity of Garacad on the North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia, the vessel was released and is at present sailing free. The ship's crew of 25 seamen with 10 Ukranians, 8 Bulgarians, 5 Indians and 2 Romanians on board are reportedly safe and well, given the circumstances after the five and a half month ordeal.

The UK flagged and UK/Israeli-owned MV ASIAN GLORY, with a deadweight of 13.363 metric tonnes, was sea-jacked late in the afternoon on first January 2010 approximately 900 nautical miles north of the Seychelles and 620 nm east of the Somali coast in the Indian Ocean.

After having left the South Korean port of Ulsan en route from Singapore to the Gulf of Aden and Saudi Arabia, the ship was transiting North West towards the International Recommended Transiting Corridor when she was hijacked.

The company DAYER MARITIME INC fronts as registered owners of the ship and for the management company ZODIAC MARITIME AGENCIES LTD while the real owners of the vessel are the so-called Ofer Brothers - the Israeli brothers Sammy and Yehuda (Yuli) Ofer.

The vessel was first held near Hobyo at the Central Somali coast. From there it was commandeered twice out to sea to aid pirate mother-ships. The ASIAN GLORY in both cases was - after rescuing these pirates - taken back to the Somali coast, in the first instance to Garacad, in the second to Danaane where the floating pirate base was then held 4.8nm off Hobyo again at the Central Indian Ocean coast of Somalia.

Though Iranian media had reported her release already in March, stating also that the vessel had transported weapons destined for Saudi Arabia, negotiations to release the vessel had not reached any conclusion, when the vessel was commandeered again to a location a little farther off the coast near Garacad. Reports by first Iranian and then the Bulgarian media that the vessel had been released for a ransom of US5m were, however, clearly false and the vessel was still held while negotiations were not forthcoming for a long time.

Then and for some time the Bulgarian master was missing, but he apparently just had been hiding himself inside the huge ship, which carried Korean-made saloon cars.

The vessel left Garacad again on 04. April being used as a piracy launch. Ship manager Zodiak confirmed the Asian Glory sailed to the east (about 580 miles) on that weekend and back to off Garacad, but did not reveal that the vessel was used in a full-fledged attack against
boxship MSC ANAFI, which luckily managed to escape.

With the advancement of Al-Shabaab groups towards Hobyo the Asian Glory then moved from the Garacad coast to a location near Kulub from where it only now went back closer to Garacad to be released after a substantial ransom was delivered.


TRENDS:

In short, the trends in piracy around the Horn of Africa are as follows:

  • Though at present the highest number of vessels ever is held at the Somali coast and the UN--lead Somalia-process has completely failed and has collapsed, the international attention concerning piracy has steadily declined and the suffering of hostage-crews as well as of the Somali people in general has reached a new all time high with little or no aid coming forward.
  • Increased use of sea-jacked smaller fishing vessels (often from Yemen) or dhows (often from India) to launch piracy attacks. Approaches / attacks then conducted by 2-3 small open boats with outboard engines and with 3-5 armed persons each in a concerted attack.
  • Increased use of firearms on all sides. The shoot-to-kill policy adopted by several navies has led to an increased number of  direct fire exchanges. The use of armed personnel and military on fishing vessels has lead to an overall increase of aggression and  violence.Taking the attacked vessel and crew immediately under direct fire during a piracy attack was in earlier years unheard of, but is now common. Likewise the the treatment of crews from countries, which have killed or arrested Somalis is declining.
  • Targeting larger cargo / oil / gas / chemical tankers
  • Piracy-related incidents have increased in the Gulf of Aden (GOA) and far off the east coast of Somalia since the engagement of EU NAVFOR, NATO, CTFs and warships of non-aligned nations.
  • Negotiations to quickly free vessels are now often hampered by restrictive orders, legal changes and ill-conceived advise given to often ignorant ship-owners.
  • Except for improved defensive measures on merchant ships none of the other responses like the deployment of navies, killing or arresting Somalis as well as destroying boats and weapons, talks with proxy-leaders, training of so-called governmental forces etc. had the slightest positive impact to improve the security of maritime traffic in innocent passage and none of these measures did curb Somalia-based piracy around the Horn of Africa.
  • While billions have been and are spent to finance self-serving naval exercises, pointless international conferences or are dumped into the coffers of the United Nations incl. their agencies like the IMO, no aid - whatsoever - has been set free to improve the situation for the people along the Somali coasts, which is the only solution to truly safeguard against piracy.

  • SOLUTIONS PENDING:


    a) Imposing strictest control on foreign fishing vessels and waste-dumping ships. Compulsory installation and monitoring of all IOTC authorized fishing vessels with LRIT and CCTV-monitored gear- and catch-control.
    b) Development of coastal regions along the two Ocean coasts.
    c) Strengthening of local institutions and regional self-governance.
    d) All vessels, including naval ships must stay outside the 20nm zone of the Somali Indian Ocean coast and outside the 50%-part of the waters of the Gulf of Aden, which belongs to Somalia, unless permitted and secured approach to the three legitimate harbours Berbera, Bosasso and Mogadishu has been received. In the Somali half of the Gulf of Aden as well as in the 350nm continental shelf zone of the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia foreign research vessels have to abstain from any activity.

    STATUS-SUMMARY:

    Today, 11. June
    2010, 18h00 UTC, still at least 21 foreign vessels plus one barge are kept in Somali hands against the will of their owners, while at least
    387 seafarers - including an elderly British yachting couple - plus the lorry drivers from Somaliland suffer to be released. Request the Somali Marine & Coastal Monitor from ECOTERRA Intl. for background info and see the map of the PIRACY COASTS OF SOMALIA.

    HOSTAGE CASES UNDER NEGOTIATIONS:

    Genuine members of families of the abducted seafarers can call +254-733-633-733 Write to the office in Kenya: office[AT]ecoterra-international.org

    Sea-jacked British couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler, aged 60 and 58, were abducted from their 38-ft yacht S/Y LYNN RIVAL, seized October 22, 2009 en route to Tanzania, and are still held in Somalia. The yacht was recovered by the crew of UK naval vessel Waveknight, after they witnessed the transfer of the Chandlers to commandeered MV KOTA WAJAR. The yacht was brought back to England. The elderly couple is now held on land close to Harardheere, sometimes separated for fear of a commando attack . The case is turning more and more ugly with pirates becoming brutal, politicians ignorant and the financially incapable family intimidated by several sidelines, whose money-guided approach is undermining bids by local elders, human rights groups and the Somali Diaspora to get the innocent couple free. Some humanitarian efforts, however, are now under way and Somali elders, respected leaders and the Somali Diaspora have renewed their demand for an unconditional release. Latest reports from the ground say that the couple is now treated better, though they often are kept separated for fear of a military rescue attempt. Since the health of both elderly people at the beginning of the year was reportedly deteriorating rapidly relief and medicine has been sent by a humanitarian organization and was received by the couple. Repeatedly rumours were spread concerning attacks, wounding or killing one of the hostages and also about a release managed by the TFG, but they became so far not true. With former British Premier Gordon Brown gone, maybe some more rational and humanitarian minded politicians will now be at the helm in the UK, who do not abandon their citizen and will extend help to solve the appalling case, though also the new government in the UK made it clear that no ransom would be paid by the British government.

    MV SOCOTRA 1: Seized December 25. 2009. The vessel carrying a food cargo for a Yemeni businessman and bound for Socotra Archipelago was captured in the Gulf of Aden after it left Alshahir port in the eastern province of Hadramout. 6 crew members of Yemeni nationality were aboard. Latest information said the ship was commandeered onto the high seas between Oman and Pakistan, possibly in another piracy or smuggling mission. VESSEL STILL MISSING.

    SOMALILAND LORRIES: Seized February 25, 2010. Seven lorries and at least 9 persons from their driver-crews of Isaak ethnicity from Somaliland were captured by a gang of sea-shifta from Garacad in order to press their comrades free from Somaliland jails. No financial demands have been made. According to sources close to the pirates, the trucks are still being kept in small town near the pirate lair of Garacad called Kulub.

    FV AL-SHURA: Seized after February 20, 2010 and most likely on 25th February with one of 9 sailors being killed by Somali pirate-attackers. Present location of Yemeni vessel and crew unknown. Navies have apparently not yet located the dhow. Allegedly the pirates now left the vessel and the dhow was returned to owner, but independent confirmation is still awaited from Yemen.

    BB AL-NISR-AL-SAUDI: Seized on March 01, 2010. The relatively small bunker barge Al Nisr Al Saudi was empty when it was taken pirated in the Gulf of Aden and in the vicinity of Aden port. The captain of the ship is Greek and the nationality of the 13 other crew is Sri Lankan. All crew is believed to be safe. The 5,136 ton ship was not registered with maritime authorities and was outside the designated route that naval warships patrol. Communications between the pirates and the owner have been established. Contrary to many other vessels the families of the hostage-seafarers are very well taken care of, though the negotiations concerning the release of the vessel and crew are apparently not forthcoming. The vessel moved from Garacad and is currently held at Kulub.

    FV SAKOBA: Seized after February 26, 2010, when the vessel was in Malindi / Kenya for bunkers, and according to the owner on 03 March, when the vessel was around Pemba Island in Tanzania. From there she went to her most southerly recorded point on 04 March 2010 at position 7º26.48' S, 42º29.88' E, which is between Zansibar and Mafia Island in Tanzania waters. At 07h04 UTC on 08 March 2010 Kenya-flagged FV SAKOBA was in position 00°52'N-046°56'E. The fishing vessel was used as a pirate platform and most likely also involved in the sea-jacking of UBT OCEAN.
    FV SAKOBA
    is a fishing vessel, presently flying Kenyan flag, which has become infamous in the fish-poaching world since many years and its clandestine operations are very well known to several environmental organizations. It has a murky track record.
    In 2005 FV SAKOBA,  with a crew of Kenyan-Spaniards and Kenyans was involved in a serious incident, whereby a Kenyan seaman got seriously injured off the Kenyan coast. It is therefore assumed that this vessel was not necessarily sea-jacked but also operated in co-operation with the Somali sea-shifta. To be "hijacked" is a nice cover for a crooked crew to operate in criminal operations, be it illegal fishing, smuggling, trafficking or assisting in the hijacking of other vessels. In the clandestine world of vessels sailing under Flag of Convenience (FOC), FV SAKOBA is a special case. FV SAKOBA arrived late afternoon on 10 March 2010 at the Central Somali coast near Harardheere, where it is anchored now at position 4º36.88'N-48º05.64'E.
    The 16 men crew consists of one Spaniard of Portuguese origin as captain, the chief engineer from Poland, ten Kenyans, two Senegalese and one sailor each from Namibia and Cape Verde.  The Spanish owner of the vessel holds 99.9% of the shares  in the  Kenyan registered company , which exports the fish to Europe via his Spanish company. The Spanish owner is now at Nairobi in Kenya with the Spanish Ambassador and had reportedly contact with the Somali group holding the vessel. Families of the Kenyan
    seafarers demonstrated in Mombasa to seek support and information from the Spanish shipowner and the Kenyan government. The legal procession to hand a petition to the Kenya Maritime Authority was broken up by Kenya police, who detained one human rights activist. Meanwhile some of the Kenyan sailors on board were allowed to call home and reported shortages of clean water, food (except fish) and ship-fuel. The Spanish shipowner is back in Kenya again but was not able yet to reach an agreement with the pirates for the release. Reports of mistreatment of crew and the captain being held on land are worrisome.

    MT UBT OCEAN: seized on March 05, 2010. The Marshall Islands-flagged, Norwegian owned oil-product tanker with 21 crew from Burma was captured between the Seychelles and Tanzania in the Indian Ocean while heading towards Dar es Salaam at position 04°34'S-048°09'E at 06h39 UTC (0939 LT). It was said that FV SAKOBA  was somehow involved in the sea-jacking of the Norwegian tanker. However, later the position of the attack was said to have been 09°12'S-044°20'E, which seems not to be plausible. The 120 m long 9,224dwt tanker belongs to shipowners Brovigtank and is managed by Singapore-based Nautictank. The tanker had been commandeered to the coast near Harardheere at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast, where vessel and crew are held. Negotiation for the release are said to be not forthcoming.

    MV FRIGIA: Seized March 22, 2010. The Turkish owned, Malta-flagged 35,244-dwt bulker with Israeli-owned cargo of phosphate was hijacked off the Indian coast before midnight at Posn: 11:41.53N - 066:05.38E - 670nm east of Socotra Island and around 900nm from Somalia. At 0137 UTC a distress signal was sent. The vessel has a crew of 21 sailors - 19 Turks and two Ukrainians.  Concerning the negotiations it is reported that not even proper contact has been established. The vessel moved from Garacad  and is currently held at Kulub at the North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia.

    MV ICEBERG I: Seized March 29, 2010. The UAE-owned, Panama-flagged Ro-Ro vessel MV ICEBERG 1 with her 24 multinational crew members (from India, Pakistan, Yemen, Ghana, Sudan and one Filipino) was sea-jacked just 10nm outside Aden Port, Gulf of Aden. The vessel was mostly held off Kulub at the North-Eastern Indian  Ocean coast of  Somalia, while negotiations having not yet achieved a solution. The USS McFaul intercepted and identified the ship on 19th May 2010, despite the pirates having painted over her name and re-named the ship SEA EXPRESS, while the vessel was on a presumed piracy mission on the high-seas. Since about 50 pirates on the ship made any rescue operation impossible without endangering the 24 crew, the naval ship followed the commandeered vessel's movements for the next 36 hours, until it began to sail back towards the coast of Somalia.  It has transpired that the shipping company Azal Shipping based in Dubai refuses to pay any ransom and the ship is apparently not insured. They have no food, water and medicine onboard, while the seafarers are starving a few of them already are getting sick. The crew requested humanitarian intervention.

    FV JIH-CHUN TSAI 68 (日春財68號) : Seized March 31, 2010. The Taiwan-flagged and -owned fishing vessel was attacked together with sister-ship Jui Man Fa (瑞滿發), which managed to escape. The vessels are operating out of the Seychelles. The crew of Jih-chun Tsai No. 68 consists of 14 sailors - a Taiwanese captain along with two Chinese and 11 Indonesian seamen. The vessel is now held at Kulub at the North-Eastern Indian  Ocean coast of  Somalia and attempted negotiations face serious communication problems.

    FV NN - IRANIAN FISHING VESSEL: Seized before April 02, 2010. The gang of sea-shifta, which had captured the Indian dhow
    MSV KRISHNA JYOT and ran out of fuel near Socotra, seized the Iranian fishing vessel and set the dhow free with her crew unharmed while going off with the Iranian fishing vessel. While the vessel had at first not come to any shore in Somalia and was believed to be used as piracy platform, some sources reported the vessel earlier from Kulub.

    VLCC SAMHO DREAM: Seized April 02, 2010. The Marshall Islands-registered "Samho Dream", a 300,000t oil tanker owned by South Korea's Samho Shipping, was seized by three Somali pirates in waters some 1,500 km south-east of the Gulf of Aden at around 16:10 Seoul time (0710 GMT).There are a total of 24 crew members on board, including five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos. The 319,000 dwt very large crude carrier was on its way from Iraq to Louisiana of the United States.The Samho Dream, which was built in 2002, is carrying crude oil that could be worth as much as $170 million at current oil prices. The vessel had been commandeered to Hobyo at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast and is now anchored 4.6nm off the beach. The South Korean government ordered their destroyer Chungmugong Yi Sun-shin out of the Somali waters and back to its working routine in the Gulf of Aden, but still there are two warships keeping a watch close by, staging mock attacks and caused tension on board, which made the pirates to issue a statement that they would blow up the oil-tanker if the harassment would not stop and no ransom would be paid. soon. Though negotiations with the owners are ongoing no conclusion has been reached. The vessel was moved from Hobyo, where she was held since her capture until the advancement of Al-Shabaab spearheaded Hizb-ul-Islam groups, to Garacad.

    MV RAK AFRIKANA: Seized April 11, 2010, the general cargo vessel (IMO 8200553) with a deadweight of 7,561 tonnes (5992t gross) was captured at 06h32 approximately 280 nautical miles west of Seychelles and 480nm off Somalia in position 04:45S - 051:00E. The captured vessel flies a flag of convenience from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and has as registered owner RAK AFRICANA SHIPPING LTD based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and an offices in the Seychelles, while industry sources say the beneficial owner is from China. AL SINDBAD SHIPPING & MARINE from Ras al Khaimah (UAE) serves as manager. While China's Seafarers Union, based on an outdated ITF database, first spoke of 23 Chinese nationals as crew, the shipowner says there are 26 seamen from  India, Pakistan and Tanzania on board. The actual crew-list has not been provided yet and the crew is not covered by an ITF agreement, but it could be established that the crew comprises of  11 Indians, including the captain, the second and third officer, as well as 10 Tanzanians and 5 Pakistanis. The vessel stopped briefly due to engine problems - around 280 nautical miles (520 kilometres) west of the Seychelles - but was then commandeered to Somalia and is held now off Ceel Huur not far from Harardheere at the Central Somali Indian Ocean Coast.

    YEMENI FISHING VESSELS: Two Yemeni fishing vessels were seized by presumed Somali sea-gangs during the week 09th to 16th April in the Gulf of Aden. The Yemeni coastguard did not specify the name of the vessels and only reported in one case the crew as comprising of three Yemeni nationals.

    THAI FISHING FLEET: Seized April 18, 2010 with a total crew of 77 sailors, of which 12 are Thai and the others of different nationalities, the Thailand-flagged vessels operating out of Djibouti were fishing illegal in the Indian Ocean off Minicoy Island in the fishing grounds of the Maldives. All three vessels were then commandeered towards the Somali coast by a group of in total around 15 Somalis.
    FV PRANTALAY 11 with a crew of 26
    FV PRANTALAY 12 with a crew of 25
    FV PRANTALAY 14 with a crew of 26
    None of these vessels is registered and authorized by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission to  fish in the Indian Ocean.
    The fleet is now held off the coast at Kulub near Garacad at the north-eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia. The captors already threatened to use one of the hunter-vessels of the group as a piracy-launch, but at present all three vessels are held at the coast, while negotiations have not been forthcoming.

    MV VOC DAISY: Seized in the morning of April 21, 2010, the Panama-flagged, Liberian-owned bulk carrier of 47,183 dead weight tonnes, was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, 190 nautical miles East South East of Salalah, Oman. The bulker was registered with the Maritime Security Centre Horn Of Africa (MSCHOA) and heading west from Ruwais, U.A.E, making for the eastern rendezvous point of the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), for onward transit through the Suez Canal. She was 280 miles from the IRTC when she was sea-jacked.  The vessel is owned by Middleburg Properties Ltd, Liberia, and operated by the Greek company Samartzis Maritime Enterprises. The 21 men all-Filipino crew  was able to raise the alarm before the four armed pirates, carrying three AK47s and one RPG, stormed onboard and cut their lines of communication. The crew is, however, said to be all right, given the circumstances. The vessel is now held off Kulub near Garacad at the North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia.

    MV AL ASSA:
    Seized before May 04, 2010. The Yemeni cargo ship with nine crew members on board was captured by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, Yemen's defense ministry confirmed. The vessel was captured en route from the south-eastern Yemeni port of Mukalla to Aden and is now being held at a port in northern Somalia, the Yemeni coast guards stated.

    Tai Yuan 227:  Seized on May 06, 2010 in an area north off the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Seychelles as it headed for the Maldives, the Taiwanese fishing boat has a crew of 28 (9 Chinese, 3 Vietnamese, 3 Filipinos, 7 Kenyans and 2 from Mozambique). Taiwan's foreign ministry confirmed that the vessel had been seized after the Taipei Rescue Command Centre reported the incident to  have taken place in approximate position 0105N-06750E. The ministry added that contact was made on Friday with the pirates who made an unspecified ransom demand, while the vessel is heading towards the Somali coast. The vessel has no authorization by the Indian Ocean Commission to fish in the Indian Ocean, which, however, is partly explained by the fact that China is opposed to Taiwan as flag state. Due to the inaction of the ship-owner and the Taiwan government to free the vessel, it is at present used again as launch for further piracy attacks.

    MT MARIDA MARGUERITE: Seized May 08, 2010, around120nm south of the Omani port of Salalah in the protected shipping corridor, the German owner-managed, US-owner-registered
    chemical tanker of 13.273 dwt has a crew of 22 seamen, including 19 Indians, two Bangladeshi and one Ukrainian. The vessel is flying a flag of convenience (FOC) from the Marshall Islands. The commandeered vessel is held at the north-eastern Somali Indian Ocean coast.

    MV PANEGA: Seized late afternoon of May 11, 2010 in the Gulf of Aden in the proximity of the internationally protected shipping corridor and approximately 100 nautical miles east of Aden (Yemen), the small Bulgarian-flagged chemical products tanker of 5,848 tonnes was on route from the Red Sea to India. The crew consists of 15 Bulgarians. The vessel was already earmarked for the scrapyard and it is presumed that the P&I insurer The West of England Shipowners shall maybe be taken for a ride. The vessel is now held at the north-eastern Somali coast in the vicinity of Garacad.

    MV ELENI P: Seized in the morning of May 12, 2010, the Greek-owned, Liberia-flagged 72,100 dwt bulker was sea-jacked around 380 nm south-east of Salalah (Oman) in position
    15 55N 060 50E. The 23 crew comprises of 19 Filipinos, 2 Greek and one Ukrainian sailor, who are said to be unharmed. Reports say that under other names the vessel had been attacked already before (as SEAHORSE on April 09, 2009). The vessel is held near Garacad at the north-eastern Somali Indian Ocean coast.


    THIS INFORMATION IS ALSO A WARNING TO VESSELS TRAVERSING THE SOMALI BASIN TO BE AWARE OF LARGER VESSELS BEING USED AS LAUNCHING PADS AND DECOY FOR PIRACY ATTACKS .
    All vessels navigating in the Indian Ocean are advised to consider keeping East of 60E when routing North/South and to consider routing East of 60E and South of 10S when proceeding to and from ports in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.
    The Indian Government has issued a NOTICE on 30th March 2010: All Indian-flagged motorized sailing vessels are -
    with immediate effect - no longer permitted to ply the waters south and west of a line joining Salalah (Oman) and Malé (Maldives).
    NOTIFICATION BY THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT
    - Issued by The Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai.

    DIRECTIONS 31. March 2010
    The Directorate has issued directions prohibiting the trading of mechanized sailing vessels south and west of the line joining Salalah and Male, with immediate effect.



    CASES NOT COMPLETELY CLOSED:

    MS INDIAN OCEAN EXPLORER and S/Y SERENITY - presumed sunken, but wrecks not secured.

    BARGE NN - an unnamed barge (allegedly with chemical waste) is held at Kulule (near Bendar-Beyla) since mid March 2009. Ownership and circumstances could not yet be clarified. In the meantime local people have developed some ailments. Community awareness campaign was carried out, barge is provisionally secured. The case needs an immediate solution.

    S/Y JOUPLA (aka JUMLA or YUMLA ?) - a mysterious yacht, said to hail from the Seychelles or South-Africa, with three Africans on board was kept since a long time near Dinoowda on the Indian Ocean coast of North-Eastern Somalia. Rumors say the yacht was involved in the sea-jacking of MV NAVIOS APOLLON as well as MV JAMES PARK and was then sighted near Hobyo. The yacht, initially used to smuggle drugs, is reported now to have been wrecked during the latest spree and sunk near Dinoowda Qorioweyn. The three African men reportedly still stay in Garacad as hostages, being forced to train sea-shifta.

    FV INTMAS 6 [aka FV TAWARIQ 2]: Was missing since March 2009. FV INTMAS 6 (sometimes named FV TAWARIQ 2) with a crew of around 30 seamen went missing around the time when FV TAWARIQ 1 was arrested by Tanzanian authorities with the help of the South African coastguard for illegal fishing. Families of four Kenyan crew members, who were hired by a Chinese shipping agent in Kenya, are desperate to know the fate of their relatives, while the shipping agent is now held also in the Tanzanian prisons in connection with the arrest of FV TAWARIQ 1. When FV TAWARIQ 1 was seized also FV TAWARIQ 2, 3 and 4 fled from the Western Indian Ocean. TAWARIQ 4 is now anchored in Singapore, TAWARIQ 3 caught fire off Mauritius, which has developed into a hub for fish-poachers, and TAWARIQ 2 (INTMAS 6) and her multi-national crew comprised of Taiwanese, Chinese, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Indonesians and Kenyans was missing for nearly a year. When FV WIN FAR 161 was captured by Somalis, who had followed the vessel close to the Seychelles , the other WIN FAR vessels were called back to Taiwan. The Taiwanese real shipowner of FV TAWARIQ 1, who is said to also have had his part in FV WIN FAR 161, which recently was released from Somalia with two dead sailors on board - is wanted by the authorities too.
    INTMAS 6 also fled from Tanzania after the arrest of FV TAWARIQ 1 - first to the Seychelles and then to Malaysia, from where now and finally all four Kenyan crew members returned to Kenya. While the vessel was reportedly sailing from Malaysia to Bangkok, her present whereabouts are unknown while investigations are ongoing.

    MT AGIA BARBARA: INDIAN AND SYRIAN CREW STILL WANTED FOR MURDER - vessel escaped
    to the UAE from Somalia after the murder of a TFG policeman and the attempted murder of another police officer - unhindered by international naval forces. See our earlier updates for details.

    FV WIN FAR 161 - The freed vessel returned under mainland China's naval escort back to Taiwan, but an independent investigation into the death of at least one Chinese and one Indonesian sailor as well as into the involvement of the ship in the attack on US-flagged container vessel MV MAERSK ALABAMA has not yet been completed, while Hsieh Long-yan, president of the ship's owner Win Far Fishery, continues to be elusive and evades questions asking e.g. why he lied to the Foreign Minister of Taiwan and why he didn't facilitate relief and medical support for the crew during many month.

    M.S.V. ABDUL RAZAK: Seized before February 23, 2010 and after 17 November 2008 (latest contact). The 40m ship with 9 crew of Indian nationality was captured by Somali sea-shifta. on her way from Kandala to Dubai. No information concerning the condition of the crew available.
    So far the vessel had been reported only as missing or lost at sea by the owner.
    Reportedly a 7 men gang of sea-shifta from Garacad, a notorious pirate den at the Indian Ocean coast of North-Eastern Somalia, is/was commandeering the vessel.
    Latest informations indicate that the vessel was already misused as pirate mother-ship far off in the Indian Ocean. An intensive search by ECOTERRA Intl. along the coast revealed that it is at present not at the Somali coasts.
    Upcoming information says that it might have been involved in an encounter with a French naval vessel at the end of February 2009. It apparently sunk near the UAE and all crew are said to be dead.

    1 YEMENI BOAT : Missing since 11. January 2010 from Warsha Island in Alaraj area in Yemen's province of Hudaida (not yet counted on list of pirated vessels - but mentioned here as alert). Originally two dhows had gone  missing on the same day, but one - MSV AL HADRAMI 73 - was found by EU NAVFOR with the vessel abandoned and the crew missing, which apparently had left the vessel with a skiff because the engine had broken down. The vessel was towed back to Yemen and handed over to the owner on 20th February.

    Legal Dispute: MV LEILA - The Panama-flagged but UAE owned Ro-Ro cargo ship of 2,292 grt with IMO NO. 7302794 and MMSI NO. 352723000 , is held at the Somaliland port of Berbera since September 15, 2009 at gunpoint and under a court order in a legal dispute between Somaliland authorities, cargo owners and the ship-owner. Somali company Omar International claims cargo damages caused by fire on MV MARIAM STAR who caught fire on the upper deck while at Berbera port in early September of 2009. MV MIRIAM STAR - a fleet-sister-ship - is likewise still at Berbera. Though difficult, all the expatriate crew could with the assistance of ECOTERRA Intl. be freed and repatriated. BOTH ABANDONED SHIPS POSE NOW A GRAVE ENVIRONMENTAL AND SAFETY HAZARD TO BERBERA PORT.

     
     ~ * ~

    With the latest captures and releases now still at least 21 seized foreign vessels (22 sea-related hostage cases since yacht SY LYNN RIVAL was abandoned and taken by the British Navy) with a total of not less than 387 crew members (incl. the British sailing couple) plus at least 9 crew of the lorries held for an exchange with imprisoned pirates, are accounted for. The cases are monitored on our actual case-list, while several other cases of ships, which were observed off the coast of Somalia and have been reported or had reportedly disappeared without trace or information, are still being followed too. Over 134 incidences (including attempted attacks, averted attacks and successful sea-jackings) had been recorded for 2008 with 49 fully documented, factual sea-jacking cases for Somalia and the mistaken sinking of one sea-jacked fishing vessel and killing of her crew by the Indian naval force. For 2009 the account closed with 228 incidences (incl. averted or abandoned attacks) with 68 vessels seized for different reasons on the Somali/Yemeni captor side as well as at least TWELVE wrongful attacks (incl. one friendly fire incident) on the side of the naval forces.
    For 2010 the recorded account around the Horn of Africa stands at 98 attacks by Somali sea-shifta resulting in 42 sea-jackings on the one side and the sinking of one merchant vessel (MV AL ABI) by machine-gun fire from the Seychelles's coastguard boat TOPAZ and the wrongful attack by the Indian navy on a Yemeni fishing vessel on the other.
    The naval alliances had since August 2008 and until May 2010 apprehended 1090 suspected pirates, detained and kept or transferred for prosecution 480,  killed at least 64 and wounded over 24 Somalis. (Actual independent update see: http://bruxelles2.over-blog.com/pages/_Bilan_antipiraterie_Atalanta_CTF_Otan_Russie_Exclusif-1169128.html).
    Not fully documented cases of absconded vessels are not listed in the sea-jack count until clarification. Several other vessels with unclear fate (although not in the actual count), who were reported missing over the last ten years in t his area, are still kept on our watch-list, though in some cases it is presumed that they sunk due to bad weather or being unfit to sail - like the S/Y Serenity, MV Indian Ocean Explorer.Present multi-factorial risk assessment code: GoA: ORANGE / IO: ORANGE  (Red = Very much likely, high season; Orange = Reduced risk, but very likely, Yellow = significantly reduced risk, but still likely, Blue = possible, Green = unlikely). Piracy incidents usually degrade during the monsoon season and rise gradually by the end of the monsoon. Starting from mid February until early April as well as around October every year an increase in piracy cases can be expected. With the onset of the monsoon winds and rough seas piracy cases decline.
    If you have any additional information concerning the cases, please send to office[at]ecoterra-international.org - if required we guarantee 100% confidentiality.
    For further details and regional information see the Somali Marine and Coastal Monitor and
    the map of the PIRACY COASTS OF SOMALIA.

    Special thanks to:

    Feb-01-2010: Hijacked M/V Asian Glory uplifts pirates from Hijacked Dhow Faize Osami -Maritime Bulleton




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    Natalie June 12, 2010 12:31 am (Pacific time)

    Well, well, what can I say-"Robin Hoods" are always fair; atacked those super-rich Ukrainians, Romanians, Indians, Bulgarians again. Is it because those sailors had 2 pairs of pants instead of 1? I hope they shared their ransom with the crew.

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