Sulu Sea Kidnappings a Threat to Shipping - IMB
The Sulu Sea between eastern Malaysia and the Philippines has become dangerous for merchant shipping due to rising threat of kidnappings, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said on Tuesday. The Sulu archipelago is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, an al-Qaeda linked group notorious for kidnappings and, increasingly, piracy. The IMB report was released just hours after armed men attacked a fishing boat, killing eight fishermen, in what appeared to be a pirate attack off the southern Philippines.
Maritime Piracy Drops But Kidnappings Rise
Sea piracy plunged to its lowest levels in 18 years in 2016, but kidnappings of crew members for ransom is escalating off west Africa and in the Sulu Seas near the Philippinessayd International Maritime Bureau (IMB). The global maritime watchdog said in its annual report that more crew were kidnapped at sea in 2016 than in any of the previous 10 years, despite global piracy reaching its lowest levels since 1998. 191 piracy incidents were recorded worldwide, down from 246 in 2015 and the lowest level since 1998.
Islamist militants free Korean, Filipino from cargo ship
Islamist militants in the Philippines allied with Islamic State freed on Saturday a South Korean cargo ship captain and a Filipino member of his crew held captive for more than three months on a southern island, an army spokesman said. Park Chulhong, skipper of the South Korea-registered carrier DongBang Giant 2, and Filipino Glenn Alindajao, were brought to the house of the island's governor after they were released by the militants of the Abu Sayyaf group, Major Filemon Tan said. Members of a Muslim rebel faction cooperating with the government in the south of the predominantly Christian country had helped arrange the release, Tan told reporters.
Africa, Asia Join Efforts for Anti-Piracy Information Sharing
A meeting in Singapore (11-12 January) has seen African and Asian countries join efforts to promote greater networking and communications across anti-piracy contact points in the two continents. Speaking at the meeting, International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Head of Maritime Security, Javier Yasnikouski, commended the initiative, saying that the efforts contribute directly to IMO’s work to raise awareness of maritime security issues that have an impact on international trade and the welfare of seafarers…
Shippers Avoid New "pirate hotspot" west of Philippines
Piracy has surged in Sulu, Celebes Seas; waters part of route carrying iron ore to Asia. A surge in piracy to the west of the Philippines is forcing shipowners to divert vessels through other waters, stoking their costs and extending the time it takes to transport goods such as Australian iron ore to key Asian destinations. There have been 16 attacks since last March on ships in the Sulu and Celebes Seas, through which about $40 billion worth of cargo passes each year, according to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).
Pirates Demand Ransom for Tanker Seized off Somalia
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 being held captive by a number of suspected armed pirates in an anchorage off the north coast of Puntland, close to Alula," the force said in a statement late on Tuesday.
Somali Force, Pirates Exchange Gunfire
Somali maritime forces have exchanged gunfire with the hijackers of an oil tanker in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, the head of the maritime force said. This is the first time Somali pirates have taken over a commercial ship since 2012 and locals blame the attack on foreign fishermen flooding into their waters, and are also angry with their government for licensing some of the ships. "We tried to intercept a boat that was carrying supplies to the pirates, but pirates on the ship fired on us and so the pirate boat escaped," said Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, the director general of the maritime force in Puntland. Pirate Abdulaahi claimed the pirates killed a member of the marine force and injured another, but Hassan said that was untrue.
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 ...
Pirates Seize Somali Vessel to Use as Floating Base
Pirates have seized control of a Somali fishing boat to use as a base from which to attack larger ships, police said on Friday, a week after Somali pirates hijacked their first commercial vessel since 2012. Ten Yemeni crew aboard the boat were dumped on shore, officials told Reuters. "We understand that pirates hijacked the fishing vessel to hijack a big ship off the ocean," said Abdirahman Mohamud, head of maritime police forces in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland. "They dropped its 10 Yemeni crew and a Somali guard inland and disappeared with the boat together with the food, cook, captain and engineer," he told Reuters. Residents of Marrayo, a northern village near the pirate lair of Eyl, confirmed that pirates from their village had gone to hunt potential targets.
Somali Pirates Hijack Indian Commercial Vessel
Pirates have hijacked an Indian commercial ship off the coast of Somalia, the second attack in weeks after years of inactivity, industry and security sources said on Monday. United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which coordinates the management of merchant ships and yachts in the Gulf of Aden area, said it had received information that a dhow en route to Bosasso from Dubai had been hijacked "in the vicinity of Socotra (Island)". A spokesman said UKMTO could not confirm the location of the vessel, which he identified as Al Kausar, or what exactly had taken place, and that investigations were continuing. "We understand Somali pirates hijacked a commercial Indian ship (and it is heading) towards Somalia shores…
India, China Navies Thwart Somali Pirate Attack
A Chinese navy ship supported by an Indian navy helicopter thwarted an attack by suspected Somali pirates on a Tuvalu-flagged merchant ship, India's defence ministry said on Sunday. The ship, known as OS 35, was reported to be under attack on Saturday. The Indian defence ministry said four of its navy ships in the vicinity responded to a distress signal from the ship and reached the bulk carrier early on Sunday. It said the crew had taken refuge in the ship's strong room, known as the citadel, once they learnt they were under attack in line with established safe shipping operating procedures. "An Indian Navy helicopter undertook aerial reconnaissance of the merchant vessel at night, and at sunrise ...
China Transfers Three Pirates to Somali Authorities
A Chinese navy ship handed over three suspected pirates to Somali authorities on Friday, police said, underscoring the determination of international naval forces to stamp out a resurgence of piracy this year. The pirates were involved in the attempted hijacking in April of the OS35, a Tuvalu-flagged cargo ship that was rescued by the Chinese navy after the crew sent a distress call. "A Chinese navy ship handed over three pirates to Puntland today," said Ahmed Saiid, the deputy director of maritime police forces in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland.
Somali Pirates Hijack Iranian Fishing Vessel
Somali pirates hijacked an Iranian fishing vessel on Tuesday to use as a base to attack bigger, more valuable ships, the mayor of a Somali town said, part of an upsurge in attacks following years of relative calm. Crews have let security procedures slip in recent years and travel far closer to pirate-infested shores than authorities recommend, shipping sources say. The pirate gangs launch small, fast skiffs from bases on shore to try hijack vessels. "A group of Somali pirates captured an Iranian fishing vessel and are using it as a mother ship in order to hijack (other) ships," Ali Shire, the mayor of Haabo in the northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland, told Reuters. "The Iranian fishing vessel does not have a licence (to fish) in Puntland," he added.
Piracy Comes Back in Somalia
Piracy in Somalia is making a comeback and the Gulf of Guinea remains the world’s most active hotspot for crew kidnappings, UK Chamber of Shipping said quoting latest data. The report said that during the first three months of 2017, armed pirates hijacked two vessels off the coast of Somalia, an area in which previously no merchant ship had been hijacked for five years. Four further incidents in the region were also attempted this past quarter, according to the latest report from the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC).
Piracy Situation Serious in Gulf of Guinea
European shipowners are concerned about the continued piracy, armed robbery attacks and kidnapping for ransom events in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), and particularly off Nigeria. According to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy report in total 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017 worldwide. During the same period, of the 27 seafarers kidnapped for ransom, 63% were in the Gulf of Guinea. In its Global Maritime Security Conclusions adopted 19 June, the Environment Council recognised the problematic situation in the Gulf of Guinea.
Piracy Drops to 21-year Low, IMB Reports
Piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1995, despite a surge in kidnappings off West Africa, according to a new report from the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB’s global piracy report shows 98 incidents in the first half of 2016, compared with 134 for the same period in 2015. When piracy was at its highest, in 2010 and 2003, IMB recorded 445 attacks a year. In the first half of 2016, IMB recorded 72 vessels boarded, five hijackings, and a further 12 attempted attacks. Nine ships were fired upon.
Pirate Attacks Still a Major Concern -Sailors’ Society
Global piracy continues to be a concern in the Gulf of Guinea, Southeast Asia and Venezuela, according to statistics released yesterday by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB). In the first nine months of 2017, 121 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported, including 92 vessels boarded with five hijackings, 11 attempted attacks and 13 vessels fired upon. While this is a decrease compared to statistics from the same period in 2016…
Royal Malaysian Navy thwarts pirate attack
The quick response of the Royal Malaysian Navy has helped to thwart the attempted hijacking of a vessel by Somali pirates. The ICC International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) received the distress call from the Chinese heavy lift vessel, Zhen Hua 4, which was broadcast immediately to all the naval commands in the area. The Zhen Hua 4 had been boarded by pirates who had not been able to enter the accommodation block. The crew of the vessel had locked themselves in having attempted to thwart the boarders through evasive manouvres and the use of water cannons. The Combined Task Force requested a Malaysian Naval vessel, which was closest to the distress position to respond.
Maritime Piracy Activity is at a 22-year Low -Report
Global maritime piracy activity fell to its lowest level in over two decades, according to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report. The 180 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) IMB in 2017 was the lowest annual number since 1995, when 188 incidents were reported. According to the IMB, pirates boarded 136 vessels in 2017, while 22 attacks were attempted, 16 vessels fired upon and six vessels hijacked.
Oil Tanker with 22 Crew Missing in Gulf of Guinea
A ship carrying 22 Indian crew and 13,500 tons of gasoline is missing in the Gulf of Guinea after contact was lost in Benin on Friday, the company and India's minister of external affairs said on Sunday. The Gulf of Guinea has become an increasing target for pirates who steal cargo and demand ransoms, even as piracy incidents fall worldwide, experts say. The Marine Express tanker, managed by Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern, was last see in Benin's waters at 3:30 a.m. GMT on Friday after which contact was lost, an Anglo Eastern spokesman told Reuters. The cause of the loss of communication was unknown and a search was underway, conducted with help from Nigerian and Beninese authorities, Anglo-Eastern said.
Pirates Free Tanker, Crew in Gulf of Guinea
Pirates freed a ship carrying 22 Indian crew and 13,500 tonnes of gasoline on Tuesday, Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern, which was managing the ship, said in a statement. "All crew members are reported to be safe and well and the cargo remains on board," the company said. The Marine Express tanker was missing in the Gulf of Guinea after contact was lost in Benin on Friday. The Gulf of Guinea has become an increasing target for pirates who steal cargo and demand ransoms, even as piracy incidents fall worldwide, experts say. Ships in the area were the target of a series of piracy-related incidents last year, according to a January report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), which highlighted the waters off West Africa as an area of growing concern.
Pirates Attack Chemical Tanker off Somalia
Suspected Somali pirates attacked a Singaporean-flagged chemical tanker on Friday but were repelled by guards on board, the European Union's Naval force said, the first such incident in several months. EU Navfor said in a statement the 50,000 metric tonne MT Leopard Sun was sailing from Sohar in Oman to Cape Town, South Africa, when it was attacked by two skiffs 160 nautical miles (295 km) off the coast of Somalia. "The skiffs approached from the stern and fired upon her, after which the on-board Private Armed Security Team returned fire with warning shots," EU Navfor said.
Pirate Attacks Worsen in Gulf of Guinea - IMB
A surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa is pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea, warns the International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB's Piracy Reporting Center recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016. Worldwide in the first three months of 2018, 100 crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels. A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks.