Archive for March 2017

Abu Sayyaf Kidnaps Captain, Chief Engineer from Ro/Ro   1 comment

roroFile image courtesy Super Shuttle RoRo

By MarEx 

On Thursday afternoon, two licensed mariners were abducted from the vehicle carrier Super Shuttle Roro 9 in the vicinity of General Santos City, Mindanao. Philippine authorities said that pirates in three speedboats approached the vessel, boarded it, and made off with the captives. The Philippine military suspects the involvement of terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, which has carried out a string of maritime kidnappings over the past year.

“Two Filipino crew, the ship’s captain and chief engineer, were taken captive,” said AFP Lieutenant-Commander Alvin Dagalea, speaking to local media. “The reports are still sketchy, but we have reasons to believe the Abu Sayyaf are behind the attack.”

The head of Philippine Coast Guard Station Zamboanga, Alvin Dagalea, told Rappler that the abductees were captain Aurelio Agacac and chief engineer Laurencio Tiro. The rest of the crew was left on board.

Earlier that day, a team of Philippine sailors and marines rescued two Malaysian captives from Abu Sayyaf near Pata Island, in the Sulu archipelago. The two men were part of the crew of a tugboat seized by Abu Sayyaf off of Sabah last July. Major General Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, told ABS CBN that the men were in poor health and appeared weak.

Handout image courtesy Westmincom (via Rappler)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines identified the rescued crewmembers as Abdurahim Bin Sumas, 62, and Tayudin Anjut, 45. The men were taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The Philippine military has mounted an all-out offensive against the terrorist group in Sulu and Basilan, and it claims that it is near to bringing Abu Sayyaf’s 26-year reign of terror to a close. Despite the ongoing campaign, the group is still believed to be holding nearly thirty hostages, most of them seafarers.

Advertisements

Posted March 25, 2017 by rrts in -NEWS

Piratas somalíes capturan un petrolero en su primer secuestro de un buque comercial desde 2012   Leave a comment

El barco ha sido trasladado a la región de Puntlandia y ya hay una operación para localizarlo.

Las autoridades de Somalia han informado este martes de que un grupo de piratas somalíes ha secuestrado el buque petrolero Aris 13, que se desplazaba de Yibuti a Mogadiscio, la capital del país, en lo que supone el primer secuestro de una embarcación comercial en la zona desde 2012. La nave fue asaltada por ocho hombres armados, que la condujeron después hasta la costa en el océano Índico de la región de Puntlandia, informa Reuters.

El buque, que realizó una llamada de auxilio el lunes, apagó posteriormente su sistema de rastreo y alteró su recorrido para dirigirse a la localidad portuaria somalí de Alula, según ha indicado John Steed, miembro del programa de asistencia Ocean’s Beyond Piracy.

“Los piratas han secuestrado el petrolero y lo han trasladado a una zona cercana a Alula”, ha señalado el comisionado de distrito de Alula, Mohamud Ahmed Eynab. Los piratas, por su parte, han confirmado que se encontraban a la espera de la embarcación.

Según Steed, en el barco se encontraban ocho personas cuando se produjo el secuestro. “El buque alertó ayer [lunes] por la tarde de que estaba siendo perseguido por dos esquifes. Después desapareció”, ha aseverado.

La Fuerza Naval de la Unión Europea (EU NAVFOR) ha sobrevolado la zona en un intento por hallar la embarcación. El buque Aris 13 pertenece a la empresa panameña Armi Shipping y es gestionado por Aurora Ship Management, en Emiratos Árabes Unidos.

Hace cinco años, los piratas somalíes llevaron a cabo 237 ataques en las costas de Somalia, según ha afirmado la Oficina Marítima Internacional. La seguridad para los barcos en esta parte del océano Índico ha mejorado sustancialmente en los últimos años, después de que la piratería frente a las costas somalíes alcanzó su pico entre 2010 y 2012.

Uno de los factores de este descenso del número de secuestros es la Operación Atalanta, que fue puesta en marcha en 2008 bajo la Política de Defensa y Seguridad Común de la Unión Europea. En sus más de 8 años de vida, los marinos europeos que participan en la Operación Atalanta han detenido y llevado a los tribunales a más de 150 piratas, además de abortar numerosos secuestros y reducir significativamente los asaltos a barcos en la región.

internacional.elpais.com

Posted March 14, 2017 by rrts in -NEWS

One Killed, Seven Abducted in Sulu Sea Pirate Attack   1 comment

fileFile image (inset image courtesy of ReCAAP)

By MarEx 

On Sunday evening, pirates attached the frieghter Giang Hai near Tawi-Tawi, Philippines, killing one seafarer and kidnapping seven.

According to the Vietnam Coast Guard, the abductees included the master, chief mate, third mate, second engineer and one oiler. Philippine coast guard and military forces responded to the scene and rescued the Giang Hai’s remaining 17 crewmembers, and the Philippine armed forces pursued the attackers.

The Vietnamese-flagged geared bulker Giang Hai is operated by a Da Nang-based shipping firm. AIS data shows that she was under way from Makassar, Indonesia to Iloilo, Philippines at the time of the attack. The Giang Hai is now at Taganak anchorage area, Tawi Tawi, where Philippine law enforcement officials are examining the vessel.

The ReCAAP piracy reporting center said that the pirates destroyed navigation and communication equipment before escaping. ReCAAP noted that this is the second boarding and abduction in the region so far this year. The waters around Tawi-Tawi are notorious for pirate attacks and kidnappings perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a terrorist organization based out of Sulu and Basilan. In November, ReCAAP advised slower-moving merchant vessels to avoid the region altogether if possible.

Abu Sayyaf is believed to be holding over two dozen hostages, most of them merchant mariners; it has released eleven captives since last June, and analysts suggest that ransoms were likely paid to secure their release. The Philippine government does not generally comment on ransoms, but recent payments may represent a significant sum: as a point of reference, group is believed to have taken in $7 million from kidnapping the first half of 2016 alone. The government discourages ransoms on the grounds that the money fuels ASG’s arms purchases and recruitment activities.

Abu Sayyaf routinely threatens to kill hostages if it does not receive payment, and it often follows through. Last year, ASG fighters beheaded three captives – John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, both Canadian nationals, and Philippine citizen Patrick Almodovar. Last week, ASG threatened to behead German national Jurgen Kantner unless the German government pays $100,000 to secure his release.

Posted March 10, 2017 by rrts in -NEWS