Archive for December 2014

IMB Concerned About Compensating Pirates   Leave a comment

By Joseph R. Fonseca
File Somali pirates threaten crew
Somali pirates threaten crew

 

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has joined other maritime organisations in expressing concern over the decision to compensate convicted Somali pirates.

These criminals have been responsible for taking hostage thousands of seafarers, who were subjected to unprovoked violence and sometimes torture. Some seafarers have also been murdered while carrying out their lawful business on the high seas.

Earlier this month, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered France to pay thousands of euros to Somali pirates who had attacked French ships in 2008. The pirates were captured by French military on the Somali coast after they hijacked two French yachts in separate attacks in 2008.

French authorities held one group for four days and the other group for six days and 16 hours before they were taken to France to stand trial.

The ECHR said the pirates should be paid compensation because they were not immediately brought before a French court but instead kept in custody for a further 48hrs after arriving in France. According to the judge this was a “violation of their rights to freedom and security”.

IMB said that, there were practical complexities when dealing with the crime of piracy that needed to be fully appreciated.

“There are practical difficulties with respect to the gathering of evidence and transporting of the alleged perpetrators when a crime is committed at sea, thousands of miles from where the court proceedings take place, compared to a crime committed ashore,” said an IMB spokesman.

The IMB added it was worried about the message that the ECHR’s decision might send out to other pirates and the implications it may have on shipping and seafarers’ safety. In light of this decision IMB states, “We hope this does not discourage the European navies from taking the required actions necessary to keep piracy suppressed along these vital international trade routes”.

A BBC report said one of the men is to be awarded €9,000 and the others sums of up to €7,000.

IMB had at the time of the attacks warned of the growing Somali piracy trend in which pirates operating from “mother ships often attacked vessels hundreds of nautical miles out to sea before taking them into Somali waters to demand ransoms.

The ECHR’s decision has been criticised by seafarers’ support group, Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP).

Roy Paul, programme director for MPHRP, said, “This decision would be unbelievable if it wasn’t made by the European Court of Human Rights. The claim that this constituted a ‘violation of their rights to freedom and security’ is an insult to the seafarers and yachtsmen they attacked as surely this is the true violation of the seafarers’ rights to freedom and security. These pirates, in my opinion, gave up any of their rights when they set sail to attack innocent seafarers who were simply doing their essential work”.

While the number of pirate attacks have dropped significantly in Somali waters, largely due to increased naval presence in the area, the threat is still present says IMB.

“There can be no room for complacency as it will take only one successful Somali hijacking for the business model to return. Masters are, therefore advised to maintain vigilance and adhere to the latest Best Management Practices recommendations,” the IMB advises.

Ships are advised to maintain strict anti-piracy watches and report all pirate attacks, both actual and attempted, and suspicious sightings to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

marinelink.com

Posted December 29, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

SOMALI PIRATES ATTACK   Leave a comment

Posted December 28, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

IMB Concerned Over Decision to Compensate Pirates   Leave a comment

Somali pirates

BY MarEx 

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has joined other maritime organizations in expressing concern over the decision to compensate convicted Somali pirates.

These criminals have been responsible for taking hostage thousands of seafarers, who were subjected to unprovoked violence and sometimes torture. Some seafarers have also been murdered while carrying out their lawful business on the high seas.

Earlier this month, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered France to pay thousands of euros to Somali pirates who had attacked French ships in 2008. The pirates were captured by French military on the Somali coast after they hijacked two French yachts in separate attacks in 2008.

French authorities held one group for four days and the other group for six days and 16 hours before they were taken to France to stand trial.

The ECHR said the pirates should be paid compensation because they were not immediately brought before a French court but instead kept in custody for a further 48 hours after arriving in France. According to the judge this was a “violation of their rights to freedom and security”.

IMB said that, there were practical complexities when dealing with the crime of piracy that needed to be fully appreciated.

“There are practical difficulties with respect to the gathering of evidence and transporting of the alleged perpetrators when a crime is committed at sea, thousands of miles from where the court proceedings take place, compared to a crime committed ashore,” said an IMB spokesman.

The IMB added it was worried about the message that the ECHR’s decision might send out to other pirates and the implications it may have on shipping and seafarers’ safety. In light of this decision IMB states, “We hope this does not discourage the European navies from taking the required actions necessary to keep piracy suppressed along these vital international trade routes”.

A BBC report said one of the men is to be awarded €9,000 and the others sums of up to €7,000.

IMB had at the time of the attacks warned of the growing Somali piracy trend in which pirates operating from “mother ships often attacked vessels hundreds of nautical miles out to sea before taking them into Somali waters to demand ransoms.

The ECHR’s decision has been criticized by seafarers’ support group, Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP).

Roy Paul, program director for MPHRP, said, “This decision would be unbelievable if it wasn’t made by the European Court of Human Rights. The claim that this constituted a ‘violation of their rights to freedom and security’ is an insult to the seafarers and yachtsmen they attacked as surely this is the true violation of the seafarers’ rights to freedom and security. These pirates, in my opinion, gave up any of their rights when they set sail to attack innocent seafarers who were simply doing their essential work”.

While the number of pirate attacks have dropped significantly in Somali waters, largely due to increased naval presence in the area, the threat is still present says IMB.

“There can be no room for complacency as it will take only one successful Somali hijacking for the business model to return. Masters are, therefore advised to maintain vigilance and adhere to the latest Best Management Practices recommendations,” the IMB advises.

Ships are advised to maintain strict anti-piracy watches and report all pirate attacks, both actual and attempted, and suspicious sightings to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

maritime-executive.com/

Posted December 26, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

Rocket Hits Storage Tank in Libyan Port   Leave a comment

boats in Libyan port

BY MarEx 

A rocket hit a storage tank at the eastern Libyan oil of port Es Sider as armed factions allied to competing governments fought for control of the country’s biggest export terminal, officials said on Thursday.

Clashes were also reported from Sirte, a city west of Es Sider, killing up to 19, residents said. No more details were immediately available.

Es Sider and its adjacent Ras Lanuf terminal have been closed since a force allied to a rival government in Tripoli moved east trying to take them.

“A tank was hit but the damage is limited,” said an official from a security service allied to the internationally-recognized government, now operating from eastern Libya. He said there were heavy clashes in the Ben Jawad area west of Es Sider where he said some of the rival forces were based.

He accused opponents of having shot at the port from boats which they had tried to dock at Es Sider. “The air force destroyed three boats which were attempting to seize the port,” he said.

Ismail al-Shukri, spokesman for the rival force, denied this, saying war planes belonging to the other side had bombed the port. “Our forces are progressing from all directions towards Es Sider port,” he said.

An oil ministry official said the tank was still on fire. Smoke could be seen on pictures posted on social media websites and described as showing the port. No more information was immediately available.

The fighting had reduced Libya’s crude output to 352,000 barrels a day, a spokesman for state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) said. Only the Brega, Sarir, Messla and offshore operations were still producing, he said. Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports were processing an estimated 300,000 bpd.

Libya has had two governments and parliaments since a group called Libya Dawn seized the capital Tripoli in August by expelling a rival faction, installing its own prime minister and forcing the recognized cabinet to operate out of the east with the elected House of Representatives.

Western powers fear the North African country might break up as former rebels who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 now use their guns to control the OPEC oil producer.

maritime-executive.com

Posted December 26, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

Pirates kill three JTF operatives in Bayelsa   Leave a comment

Dare-devil sea pirates have continued their rampage on Bayelsa waterways, as they attacked and killed three soldiers attached to the Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield, on the waterways of Bayelsa State.

It was gathered that the suspected pirates in the vicious operation on Sunday evening, also hijacked a military gunboat after killing the soldiers.

They were said to have laid ambush for the soldiers and killed them at Santa Barbara, a notorious river in Nembe area of the state, in one of a series of attacks on security personnel and civilian populace in the state.

In the latest attack, the victims were said to be escorting some items to Brass terminal owned by an international oil company when the gunmen opened fire on them.

A security source said the soldiers were sailing from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to Brass in Bayelsa State, when they were attacked.

The source, who did not want his name mentioned, said; “They were ambushed by deadly pirates.

It is suspected that the gunmen hijacked the gunboat, later killed the soldiers and threw their bodies into the water or they shot and pushed them into the water before stealing the gunboat.

‘’The gunboat appears to be the target of the hoodlums, especially as arms were being stockpiled by militants for 2015.

The Santa Barbara, where the incident took place is in Nembe a hot bed for pirate activities in the state,’’ the source said. When contacted, the JTF said it did not believe the soldiers were dead, but missing.

JTF’s coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, Colonel Mustapha Anka, confirmed the attack, but said it was premature to conclude that the soldiers were killed by the pirates.

Anka said the JTF had put its search-and-rescue team in motion, adding that frantic efforts were being made to locate the soldiers’ whereabouts.

nationalmirroronline.net

Posted December 23, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

Christmas spent seeking pirates   Leave a comment

NZ Defence Force

Sergeant John Maiava, of Palmerston North, on a counter piracy deployment with the RNZAF in the Middle East Supplied Defence forces.

Hunting pirates isn’t your usual Christmas holiday activity, but for one Palmerston North man, it’s just another day on the job.

Sergeant John Maiava, 25, from Palmerston North, is an air warfare specialist on the RNZAF P-3K2 Orion and will spend his Christmas on deployment in the Middle East.

Maiava was among a number of New Zealand personnel to head off on the three-month deployment in October.

It is part of a multi-national counter-piracy operation that aims to reduce the presence of pirates and their vessels in the region.

Maiava joined the air force in 2008 after finishing his last year at Palmerston North Boys’ High School.

On a day-to-day basis, his role is to keep the specialist sensors on the P-3K2 Orion operating while on deployment.

“There are so many highlights in an operation like this. You get to contribute to global security. You get to work alongside so many other nations towards a common goal.

“It’s the kind of experience you can’t get back in New Zealand. I’ll definitely take this experience home and use it in crew training months from now.”

His parents won’t mind that he’s spending Christmas away from home this year, he says, not because they don’t miss him or wish he was home to celebrate with them, but because they were proud of his work with the Royal New Zealand Air Force hunting down pirates and people-smugglers.

“My family is very proud of my part in the air force, especially being deployed to the Middle East on our current mission.

“My mum loves telling people what I do and that I’m now hunting pirates for a job.”

stuff.co.nz

Posted December 23, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

Seychelles: Anti-Piracy Fight Gains Momentum As Japan and Seychelles Sign Exchange Agreement   Leave a comment

Victoria, Seychelles — A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Japan and Seychelles covering the conditions of transfer of suspected pirates and seized property, was signed on Thursday in Indian Ocean island nation’s Port of Victoria.

The agreement was signed on board “Takanami” one of two Japanese naval ship docked in Port Victoria.

Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands with a population of some 90,000 people has placed itself at the forefront of the fight against piracy.

The MoU with Japan is the 13th such bilateral agreement on the conditions of transfer of suspected pirates that Seychelles has signed having previously done so with countries like France, Britain, Denmark, amongst others.

The latest agreement covers issues such as pirates capture by the Japanese Navy, trial, possible conviction and repatriation to Somalia.

The Japanese Ambassador to Seychelles Tatsushi Terada said after the signing that piracy off the coast of Somalia posed a clear and present threat to the maritime shipping routes linking Asia, Africa and Europe.

“It goes without saying that the safety of navigation is vital for the prosperity of the international community as a whole, an in particular, island states which depend heavily on maritime trade,” said Terada.

“Therefore, it is natural for Japan and Seychelles to operate in their efforts to tackle piracy.”

The Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan said the MoU was “another step in the joint efforts of both countries in their fight against piracy.”

He noted that Seychelles’ economy is heavily dependent on the maritime sector as fisheries, trade and tourism are its key pillars.

“Peace in the western Indian Ocean, which is an important sea route is vital for world trade,” said Morgan.

He also noted that the MoU which builds on Japan’s new legislation which allows greater collaboration between the two island nations on human trafficking, international crimes and drug smuggling alongside piracy.

Recently Japan’s parliament enacted legislation that allowed the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) vessels to protect any ship from pirates regardless of its flag and criminalised piracy.

According to Terada, two JMSDF destroyers based in Djibouti in the horn of Africa region off the Gulf of Aden have been engaged in escort operations, protecting more than 3,600ships in 600 escort missions since 2009. Each destroyer has a crew of 200 and 20 officers. Complementing these destroyers are two maritime patrol aircraft’s based in Djibouti which have so far have clocked more than 1,200 mission flights.

Since 2009 Seychelles has been in the forefront combating piracy and has deployed the Seychelles Defence Forces (SPDF), coastguards, police, prison department and the judiciary to contain crime at sea.

Working in collaboration with international partners to apprehend and prosecute suspected Somali pirates has seen the island nation prosecute the largest number of Somali pirates between 2009 to 2013.

Seychelles Prisons Superintendent Maxime Tirant, who witnessed the signing, told SNA that the number of convicted Somali pirates at the main prison of Montagne Posee, now stands at 38 from a record peak of 120 in 2012.

16 are still on remand awaiting trial while the remaining number have already been sentenced and are awaiting transfer to either the Garowe (Puntland) and Hargeysa (Somaliland) prisons, two detention facilities built by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), as part of its Piracy Prisoner Transfer Programme.either of the two prisons in Puntland and Somaliland.

Piracy off the Somalia coast and the Gulf of Aden rose to an all-time high in 2009 when 117 ships were attacked. In 2010 there were 53 ship attacks and piracy incidents have continued to dwindle due to increased naval patrols and deterrence by ships’ employing self-protection measures.

Piracy has contributed to a rise in shipping costs and shipping insurance premiums as well as impeding the delivery of food aid shipments which has in turn increased the general cost of living in the region.

allafrica.com

Posted December 22, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS