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Offline Bitter

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Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« on: September 30, 2008, 08:51:13 AM »
Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/world/africa/01pirates.html?hp

NAIROBI, Kenya — The Somali pirates who hijacked a Ukrainian freighter loaded with tanks, artillery, grenade launchers and ammunition said in an interview Tuesday that they had no idea that the ship was carrying arms when they seized it on the high seas.

“We just saw a big ship,” the pirates’ spokesman, Sugule Ali, told The New York Times. “So we stopped it.”

The pirates quickly learned, though, that their booty was an estimated $30 million worth of heavy weaponry, heading for Kenya or Sudan, depending on whom you ask.

In a 45-minute-long interview, Mr. Sugule expounded on everything from what the pirates want — “just money” — to why they were doing this — “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters” — to what they eat — rice, meat, bread, spaghetti, “you know, normal human-being food.”

He said that so far, in the eyes of the world, the pirates had been misunderstood. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” he said. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.”

The pirates who answered the phone call on Tuesday morning from The New York Times said they were speaking by satellite phone from the bridge of the Faina, the Ukrainian cargo ship that was hijacked about 200 miles off the coast of Somalia on Thursday. Several pirates talked, but they said that only Mr. Sugule was authorized to be quoted. Mr. Sugule acknowledged that they were now surrounded by American warships bristling with firepower but he did not sound afraid. “You only die once,” Mr. Sugule said.

He said that all was peaceful on the ship, despite unconfirmed reports from a maritime organization in Kenya that three pirates had been killed in a shoot-out among themselves on Monday night.

He insisted that the pirates were not interested in the weapons and had no plans to sell them to Islamist insurgents battling Somalia’s weak transitional government. “Somalia has suffered from many years of destruction because of all these weapons,” he said. “We don’t want that suffering and chaos to continue. We are not going to offload the weapons. We just want the money.”

He said that they were asking for $20 million in cash — “we don’t use any other system than cash.” But he added that they were willing to bargain. “That’s deal making,” he explained.

Piracy in Somalia is a highly-organized, lucrative, ransom-driven business. Just this year, pirates have hijacked more than 25 ships, and in many cases, they were paid million dollar ransoms to release them. The juicy payoffs have attracted gunmen from across Somalia and the pirates are thought to now number in the thousands.

The piracy industry started about 10 to 15 years ago, Somali officials said, as a response to illegal fishing. Somalia’s central government imploded in 1991, casting the country into chaos. With no patrols along the shoreline, Somalia’s tuna-rich waters were soon plundered by commercial fishing fleets from around the world. Somali fishermen armed themselves and turned into vigilantes by confronting illegal fishing boats and demanding that they pay a tax.

“From there, they got greedy” explained Mohamed Osman Aden, a Somali diplomat in Kenya. “They starting attacking everyone.”

By the early 2000s, many of the fishermen had traded in their nets for machine guns and were hijacking any vessel — sailboat, oil tanker, United Nations-chartered food ship — that they could catch.

“It’s true that the pirates started to defend the fishing business,” Mr. Mohamed said. “And illegal fishing is a real problem for us. But this does not justify these boys to now act like guardians. They are criminals. The world must help us crack down on them.”

The United States and several European countries, in particular France, have been talking about ways to patrol the waters together. The United Nations is even considering creating something like a maritime peacekeeping force. Because of all the hijackings, the waters off of Somalia’s 1,880-mile-long coast are now considered the most dangerous shipping lanes in the world.

On Tuesday, several American warships had the hijacked freighter cornered along the craggy Somali coastline. The American ships were allowing the pirates to bring food and water on board but not to take any weapons off. A Russian frigate is also on its way to the area.

Lt. Nathan Christensen, a Navy spokesman, said on Tuesday that he had heard the unconfirmed reports about the inter-pirate shootout but that the Navy had no more information. “To be honest, we’re not seeing a whole lot of activity” on the ship, he said.

Kenyan officials continued to maintain that the weapons aboard were part of a legitimate arms deal for the Kenyan military, even though several Western diplomats, Somali officials and the pirates themselves said the arms were part of a secret deal to funnel the weapons to southern Sudan.

Somali officials are urging the Western navies to storm the ship and arrest the pirates because they say that paying ransoms only fuels the problem. Western diplomats, however, have said that it would be a very difficult commando operation because the ship is full of explosives and the pirates could use the 20 crew members as human shields.

Mr. Sugule said that his men are treating the crew members well (the pirates would not let the crew members speak on the phone, saying it was against their rules). “Killing is not in our plans,” he said. “We only want money, so we can protect ourselves from hunger.”

When asked why the pirates needed $20 million to protect themselves from hunger, Mr. Sugule laughed over the phone and said: “Because we have a lot of men.”
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Offline Bitter

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2008, 08:52:32 AM »
These fools have a spokesman and press releases.
I guess like the man say, "You only die once."
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Offline Touches

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2008, 11:56:07 AM »
I find this is real TV ting.

I go keep following this story.


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Offline capodetutticapi

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2008, 11:59:03 AM »
if they want to protect they self from hunger they should fish.they already in the sea.
soon ah go b ah lean mean bulling machine.

Offline Bourbon

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 12:25:46 PM »
Wait nah...how dem manage to hijack a boat carrying GUNS? Yuh woulda think dat de men transporting said guns woulda have some way to defend themselves.
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Offline weary1969

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2008, 12:45:24 PM »
Really no demand 4 anybody 2 b freed etc. Just d money capitalism at its very best
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Offline grimm01

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2008, 03:40:47 PM »
The funny thing is while these pirates gallerying and enjoying their 15 minutes of infamy, somewhere, Uncle Sam has a squad of Navy SEALS practicing to storm a boat...

Offline Bakes

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2008, 03:53:29 PM »
The funny thing is while these pirates gallerying and enjoying their 15 minutes of infamy, somewhere, Uncle Sam has a squad of Navy SEALS practicing to storm a boat...

Practicing?  Yuh mean preparing.


This thing is real serious... for the past year I've been getting a daily email from Haights Maritime Newsletter (here's a link to the archives http://www.hklaw.com/id49733/spotlight1/mpgid4720/), which tracks maritime related activities around the world.  This piracy thing has been brewing for some time but getting worse the past 6 months or so as copycat pirates crop up.

The thing that still baffling me is how a band of gun-toting pirates in pirogues and dinghies manage tuh stop ah big ass tanker.  Yuh mean tuh tell me dem backsides on de ship wasn't armed themselves?

Offline WestCoast

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2008, 04:09:46 PM »
check the world piracy map
I did not think modern piracy was that wide spread
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 04:19:58 PM by WestCoast »
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Offline Blue

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2008, 04:15:25 PM »
Mr. Sugule acknowledged that they were now surrounded by American warships bristling with firepower but he did not sound afraid. “You only die once,” Mr. Sugule said.

 :challenge: :challenge: :challenge:

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2008, 05:34:27 AM »
This is akin to an opportunistic local kidnapping or street crime on ground level anywhere. It captures the imagination because of the scale and because it seems 'unlikely', but it's reached 'garden variety' now and you'll have a few entrants to the marketplace that reflect the character above. This is just the current window of opportunity going on off the coast of Djibouti, Somali etc. until it's not ... then these same actors will turn to the next lucrative market ...
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Offline Bakes

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2008, 01:47:48 PM »
Somali Pirates Said to Reduce Ransom


October 2, 2008

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

NAIROBI, Kenya — Negotiations over the arms-laden freighter hijacked by Somali pirates intensified on Wednesday and several people close to the talks said the showdown had come down to price.

The pirates, who seized the ship last Thursday, initially demanded a $35 million ransom, then dropped it to $20 million and now it seems they are willing to settle for much less.

“It’s down to $5 million,” said Andrew Mwangura, program coordinator for the Seafarers’ Assistance Program in Kenya, which tracks pirate attacks and communicates with the families of crew members. “But this needs to be done quickly. The longer that ship stays in Somalia, the more people who are going to get involved and the greedier they’re going to get.”

“My advice,” said Mr. Mwangura who has been involved in several hijacking negotiations, “is give these gunmen what they want before the sharks come.”Western diplomats and Somali officials had talked tough about a military strike against the pirates. The pirates had crossed a red-line, diplomats said this week, and there would be no capitulation to their demands. Somali officials, in particular, were adamant that paying the pirates, especially in such a well-publicized case, would only fuel more attacks, which have turned Somalia’s waters into the most dangerous, pirate-infested in the world. Already this year more than 25 ships have been hijacked. The going price is usually $1 million to $2 million to free them.

But the pirates have hardened their position as well — resupplying themselves with fresh food and water, bringing live animals on deck to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Id al-Fitr and chatting with journalists on their satellite phone. It has become clear that they do not plan on leaving the ship without getting paid.

Moreover, the pirates do not seem especially worried about the five or so American warships bristling with missiles and high-technology weapons that are boxing them in against the craggy Somali shore. The only other option, Western officials have said, is a commando raid, no easy task on a huge freighter packed with explosives and with 20 human shields (the crew, who are mostly Ukrainian with a couple Russians). The commando option, for the moment, seems less likely.

“The whole thing now is about the price,” said one Western official involved in the ransom negotiations. “The ship owners are talking with the pirates. But the two sides are still pretty far apart.”A further complication is Russia. A Russian frigate heading toward the coast of Somalia was expected to arrive within days.. It was unclear how or even if the American forces would work with the Russians, and Somali officials did not appear to be helpful.

. On Wednesday, a Somali diplomat in Moscow announced that Somalia was inviting Russia to fight the pirates on sea and on land, possibly setting up a cold war-style duel for influence like the kind that turned Somalia into a dumping ground of weapons — and problems — in the 1970s and 1980s.Russia is known for its aggressive tactics in hostage situations and many diplomats here in Kenya worry the Russians may storm the ship. The American military, on the other hand, seems content to babysit the ship for now. American officials said they are most concerned about the cargo, which includes 33 T-72 Soviet-designed battle tanks, grenade launchers, anti-aircraft guns and piles of ammunition.

American officials have said their priority is to make sure the pirates do not unload the arms and sell them to Islamist insurgents battling Somalia’s weak central government. There is no appetite right now, several American officials said, to risk American lives to free Ukrainian and Russian sailors.

“I think you will see the pirates’ ransom demands continue to decline the closer the Russian frigate gets to Somalia," said a senior State Department official.

Kenyan politicians have called for military action, saying that the weapons aboard were for the Kenyan military and they wanted them back. But several American officials have said that the weapons were part of a secret — and possibly illegal - arms deal brokered by the Kenyan government for southern Sudan.

On Wednesday, a relative of one of the Ukrainian sailors said the ship had originally been scheduled to head to Syria with a load of cars.

“All of a sudden the plans changed,” the relative said, asking not to be identified for fear of reprisals against the crew member. “And the crew found out at the last minute that the ship was carrying tanks. They were scared to be sailing past Somalia with tanks.”

Many relatives of the crew are now pleading with the Ukrainian government to help the shipping company pay the ransom, whatever it may be.

“We are praying for the government to negotiate,” the relative said. “We just want our people back.”

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting from Washington.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/world/africa/02pirates.html?hp

Offline Bourbon

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2008, 11:19:40 PM »
check the world piracy map
I did not think modern piracy was that wide spread

How it have so much by we? Dahs dem CD pirate and dem who does be on Frederick Street or wha? ;D
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Offline dinho

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2008, 01:14:03 PM »
Somali pirates seize supertanker loaded with crude

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081117/ap_on_re_af/ml_piracy



By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press Writer Barbara Surk, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 7 mins ago
This undated picture made at an unknown location shows the Sirius Star tanker AP – This undated picture made at an unknown location shows the Sirius Star tanker conducting a trial run …

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Somali pirates hijacked a supertanker hundreds of miles off the Horn of Africa, seizing the Saudi-owned ship loaded with crude and its 25-member crew, the U.S. Navy said Monday.

It was the largest ship pirates have seized, and the farthest out to sea they have successfully struck.

The hijacking highlighted the vulnerability of even very large ships and pointed to widening ambitions and capabilities among ransom-hungry pirates who have carried out a surge of attacks this year off Somalia.

Saturday's hijacking of the MV Sirius Star tanker occurred in the Indian Ocean far south of the zone patrolled by international warships in the busy Gulf of Aden shipping channel, which leads to and from the Suez Canal. A U.S. Navy spokesman said the bandits were taking it to a Somali port that has become a haven for seized ships and bandits trying to force ransoms for them.

Maritime security experts said they have tracked a troubling spread in pirate activity southward into a vast area of ocean that would be extremely difficult and costly to patrol, and this hijacking fits that pattern.

"It is very alarming," said Cyrus Mody, manager of the International Maritime Bureau. "It had been slightly more easy to get it under control in the Gulf of Aden because it is a comparatively smaller area of water which has to be patrolled, but this is huge."

The tanker, owned by Saudi oil company Aramco, is one of the largest ships to sail the seas. It is 330 1,080 feet long, or about the length of an aircraft carrier, and can carry about 2 million barrels of oil.

Fully loaded, the ship's cargo could be worth about $100 million. But the pirates would have to way of selling crude and no way to refine it in Somalia.

Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, said the Sirius Star was carrying crude at the time of the hijacking, but he did know how much. He also had no details about where the ship was sailing from and where it was headed at the time of the attack.

Christensen said the bandits were taking the ship to an anchorage off Eyl, a northeastern Somali port town that is a haven for pirates and the ships they have seized.

The ship was sailing under a Liberian flag and its 25-member crew includes citizens of Croatia, Britain, the Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia. A British Foreign Office spokesman said there were at least two British nationals aboard the vessel.

The Sirius Star was attacked more than 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya, the U.S. 5th Fleet said in a statement from its Middle East headquarters in Bahrain.

"It's the largest ship we've seen hijacked and one attacked farthest out on the sea," Christensen said.

The capturing of the oil tanker represents a "fundamental shift in the ability of pirates to be able to attack merchant vessels," he said.

Classed as a Very Large Crude Carrier, the Sirius Star was commissioned in March and is 318,000 dead weight tons.

With a full load, the ship's deck would be lower to the water, making it easier for pirates to climb aboard with grappling equipment and ladders, as they do in most hijackings.

It is not clear if there was a security team on the vessel. An operator with Aramco said no one was available to comment after business hours. Calls went unanswered at Vela international, the Dubai-based marine company that operated the ship for Aramco.

Somali pirates are trained fighters, often dressed in military fatigues, using speedboats equipped with satellite phones and GPS equipment. They are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rocket launchers and various types of grenades.

As pirates have become better armed and equipped, they have sailed farther out to sea in search of bigger targets, including oil tankers, among the 20,000 tankers, freighters and merchant vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden each year. Attacks have increased more than 75 percent this year.

With most attacks ending with million-dollar payouts, piracy is considered the most lucrative work in Somalia. Pirates rarely hurt their hostages, instead holding out for a huge payday.

The strategy is effective: A report last month by a London-based think tank said pirates have raked in up to $30 million in ransoms this year alone.

In Somalia, pirates are better-funded, better-organized and better-armed than one might imagine in a country that has been in tatters for nearly two decades.

They do occasionally get nabbed, however. Earlier this year, French commandos used night vision goggles and helicopters in operations that killed or captured several pirates, who are now standing trial in Paris. The stepped-up international presence recently also appears to have deterred several attacks.

Raja Kiwan, a Dubai-based analyst with PFC Energy, said the hijacking raises "some serious questions" about securing such ships on the open seas.

"It's not easy to take over a ship" as massive as an oil tanker, particularly VLCC's that can transport about 2 million barrels of crude, he said. He said such vessels typically have armed guards but could not say if that was the case with the Sirius Star.

Pirates have gone after oil tankers before, most recently in October when they were thwarted by a Spanish military plane.

Warships from the more than a dozen nations as well as NATO forces have focused their anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden, increasing their military presence in recent months.

But Saturday's hijacking occurred much farther south.

Graeme Gibbon Brooks, managing director of British company Dryad Maritime Intelligence Service Ltd, said the increased international presence is simply not enough.

"The coalition has suppressed a number of attacks ... but there will never be enough warships," he said, describing an area that covers 2.5 million square miles.

He said the coalition warships will have to be "one step ahead of the pirates. The difficulty here is that the ship was beyond the area where the coalition were currently acting."

___
         

Offline capodetutticapi

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2008, 07:53:42 PM »
fight fire with fire,put armed mercenaries on ships with valuable cargo.
soon ah go b ah lean mean bulling machine.

Offline jimbo

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2008, 08:13:16 PM »
doe frighten dem fellas goe get wha comin to them....how long dey tink dey could do this for....

My take iz that these pirates are the small fry and iz more sophisticated mafia guys is d real kingpins...
I an I iz u and u..seen

Offline Bourbon

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2008, 09:01:52 PM »
Now...a commodity like this of no real use unless someone buys it eh. So if nobody willing to buy it..what would happen next?
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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2008, 02:37:03 AM »
At the moment, amongst the immediate victims are several non-US concerns ... Koreans reported to be considering sending their navy to the area, if they haven't done so yet ... However, someone will lose dey patience just now ... and somebody somewhere will commit to booking a flight on Delta ... Air France.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 02:39:17 AM by asylumseeker »
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Offline Andre

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2008, 08:01:03 AM »
they forking with the wrong people goods & money.

watch the europeans, chinese and indians roll in their with their big ships and blow them away.

Offline Trini Madness

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2008, 10:29:53 AM »
they forking with the wrong people goods & money.

watch the europeans, chinese and indians roll in their with their big ships and blow them away.

along with de $100 million of oil
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Offline Aviator

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2008, 11:29:54 AM »
they forking with the wrong people goods & money.

watch the europeans, chinese and indians roll in their with their big ships and blow them away.

To give 'big oil' a reason to artificially jack up the price of oil ??? ???
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Offline ZANDOLIE

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2008, 06:42:36 PM »
The funny thing is while these pirates gallerying and enjoying their 15 minutes of infamy, somewhere, Uncle Sam has a squad of Navy SEALS practicing to storm a boat...

Practicing?  Yuh mean preparing.


The thing that still baffling me is how a band of gun-toting pirates in pirogues and dinghies manage tuh stop ah big ass tanker.  Yuh mean tuh tell me dem backsides on de ship wasn't armed themselves?

I think the whole idea behind piracy of large tankers is the threat of a fire fight with $100 mill worth of oil/fuel in close proximity. I believe this is why they don't need a much more than a pirogue at this point. A few good RPGs and explosives is probably all the threat they need to make the security forces back TFD.

I would suspect the ability of these pirates to acquire these munitions is likely due to shitty accounting and control procedures for arms sales/disposal in the horn of Africa etc.

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Offline Andre

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2008, 07:52:06 AM »
the indians starting to shoot.

Indian navy sinks suspected pirate "mother" ship
By SAM DOLNICK, Associated Press Writer
18 mins ago

NEW DELHI – An Indian naval vessel sank a suspected pirate "mother ship" in the Gulf of Aden and chased two attack boats into the night, officials said Wednesday, yet more violence in the lawless seas where brigands are becoming bolder and more violent.

Separate bands of pirates also seized a Thai ship with 16 crew members and an Iranian cargo vessel with a crew of 25 in the Gulf of Aden, where Somalia-based pirates appear to be attacking ships at will, said Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Malaysia.

"It's getting out of control," Choong said.

A multicoalition naval force has increased patrols in the region, and scored a rare success Tuesday when the Indian warship, operating off the coast of Oman, stopped a ship similar to a pirate vessel mentioned in numerous piracy bulletins. The Indian navy said the pirates fired on the INS Tabar after the officers asked it to stop to be searched.

"Pirates were seen roaming on the upper deck of this vessel with guns and rocket propelled grenade launchers," said a statement from the Indian navy. Indian forces fired back, sparking fires and a series of onboard blasts — possibly due to exploding ammunition — and destroying the ship.

They chased one of two speedboats that had been shadowing the larger ship, and which fled when it sank. One was later found abandoned. The other escaped, according to the statement.

Larger "mother ships" are often used to take gangs of pirates and smaller attack boats into deep water, and can be used as mobile bases to attack merchant vessels.

Last week, Indian navy commandos operating from a warship foiled a pirate attempt to hijack a ship in the Gulf of Aden. The navy said an armed helicopter with marine commandos prevented the pirates from boarding and hijacking the Indian merchant vessel.

Tuesday incidents raised to eight the number of ships hijacked this week alone, he said. Since the beginning of the year, 39 ships have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, out of 95 attacked.

"There is no firm deterrent, that's why the pirate attacks are continuing," Choong said. "The criminal activities are flourishing because the risks are low and the rewards are extremely high."

The pirates used to mainly roam the waters off the Somali coast, but now they have spread in every direction and are targeting ships farther at sea, according to Choong.

He said 17 vessels remain in the hands of pirates along with more than 300 crew members, including a Ukrainian ship loaded with weapons and a Saudi Arabian supertanker carrying $100 million in crude.

Despite the stepped-up patrols, the attacks have continued unabated off Somalia, which is caught up in an Islamic insurgency and has had no functioning government since 1991. Pirates have generally released ships they have seized after ransoms are paid.

NATO has three warships in the Gulf of Aden and the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet also has ships in the region.

But U.S. Navy Commander Jane Campbell of the 5th Fleet said naval patrols simply cannot prevent attacks given the vastness of the sea and the 21,000 vessels passing through the Gulf of Aden every year.

"Given the size of the area and given the fact that we do not have naval assets — either ships or airplanes — to be everywhere with every single ship" it would be virtually impossible to prevent every attack, she said.

The Gulf of Aden connects to the Red Sea, which in turn is linked to the Mediterranean by the Suez Canal. The route is thousands of miles (kilometers) and many days shorter than going around the Cape of Good Hope off the southern tip of Africa.

The Thai boat, which was flying a flag from the tiny Pacific nation of Kiribati but operated out of Thailand, made a distress call as it was being chased by pirates in two speedboats but the phone connection was cut off midway.

Wicharn Sirichaiekawat, manager of Sirichai Fisheries Co., Ltd. told The Associated Press that the ship, the "Ekawat Nava 5," was headed from Oman to Yemen to deliver fishing equipment.

"We have not heard from them since so we don't know what the demands are," Wicharn said. "We have informed the families of the crew but right now, we don't have much more information to give them either."

Of the 16 crew members, Wicharn said 15 are Thai and one is Cambodian.

The Iranian carrier was flying a Hong Kong flag but operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.

On Tuesday, a major Norwegian shipping group, Odfjell SE, ordered its more than 90 tankers to sail around Africa rather than use the Suez Canal after the seizure of the Saudi tanker Saturday.

"We will no longer expose our crew to the risk of being hijacked and held for ransom by pirates in the Gulf of Aden," said Terje Storeng, Odfjell's president and chief executive.

Saudi Arabia, the world's leading oil producer, has condemned the hijacking and said it will join the international fight against piracy. Despite the fact that its government barely works, Somali officials vowed to try to rescue the ship by force if necessary.

The supertanker, the MV Sirius Star, was anchored Tuesday close to Harardhere, the main pirates' den on the Somali coast, with a full load of 2 million barrels of oil and 25 crew members.

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2008, 02:30:28 PM »
Pirates' luxury lifestyles on lawless coast

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Somalia's increasingly brazen pirates are building sprawling stone houses, cruising in luxury cars, marrying beautiful women -- even hiring caterers to prepare Western-style food for their hostages.
Hostages and armed pirates on the MV Faina.

And in an impoverished country where every public institution has crumbled, they have become heroes in the steamy coastal dens they operate from because they are the only real business in town.

"The pirates depend on us, and we benefit from them," said Sahra Sheik Dahir, a shop owner in Haradhere, the nearest village to where a hijacked Saudi Arabian supertanker carrying $100 million in crude was anchored Wednesday.

These boomtowns are all the more shocking in light of Somalia's violence and poverty: Radical Islamists control most of the country's south, meting out lashings and stonings for accused criminals. There has been no effective central government in nearly 20 years, plunging this arid African country into chaos.

Life expectancy is just 46 years; a quarter of children die before they reach 5.

But in northern coastal towns like Haradhere, Eyl and Bossaso, the pirate economy is thriving thanks to the money pouring in from pirate ransoms that have reached $30 million this year alone.

In Haradhere, residents came out in droves to celebrate as the looming oil ship came into focus this week off the country's lawless coast. Businessmen started gathering cigarettes, food and cold glass bottles of orange soda, setting up small kiosks for the pirates who come to shore to re-supply almost daily.

Dahir said she is so confident in the pirates, she instituted a layaway plan just for them.

"They always take things without paying and we put them into the book of debts," she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "Later, when they get the ransom money, they pay us a lot."

For Somalis, the simple fact that pirates offer jobs is enough to gain their esteem, even as hostages languish on ships for months. The population makes sure the pirates are well-stocked in qat, a popular narcotic leaf, and offer support from the ground even as the international community tries to quash them.

"Regardless of how the money is coming in, legally or illegally, I can say it has started a life in our town," said Shamso Moalim, a 36-year-old mother of five in Haradhere.

"Our children are not worrying about food now, and they go to Islamic schools in the morning and play soccer in the afternoon. They are happy."

Despite a beefed-up international presence, the pirates continue to seize ships, moving further out to sea and demanding ever-larger ransoms. The pirates operate mostly from the semiautonomous Puntland region, where local lawmakers have been accused of helping the pirates and taking a cut of the ransoms.

For the most part, however, the regional officials say they have no power to stop piracy.

Meanwhile, towns that once were eroded by years of poverty and chaos are now bustling with restaurants, Land Cruisers and Internet cafes. Residents also use their gains to buy generators -- allowing full days of electricity, once an unimaginable luxury in Somalia.

There are no reliable estimates of the number of pirates operating in Somalia, but they must number in the thousands. And though the bandits do sometimes get nabbed, piracy is generally considered a sure bet to a better life.

NATO and the U.S. Navy say they can't be everywhere, and American officials are urging ships to hire private security. Warships patrolling off Somalia have succeeded in stopping some pirate attacks. But military assaults to wrest back a ship are highly risky and, up to now, uncommon.

The attackers generally treat their hostages well in anticipation of a big payday, hiring caterers on shore to cook spaghetti, grilled fish and roasted meat that will appeal to a Western palate. They also keep a steady supply of cigarettes and drinks from the shops on shore.

And when the payday comes, the money sometimes literally falls from the sky.

Pirates say the ransom arrives in burlap sacks, sometimes dropped from buzzing helicopters, or in waterproof suitcases loaded onto tiny skiffs in the roiling, shark-infested sea.

"The oldest man on the ship always takes the responsibility of collecting the money, because we see it as very risky, and he gets some extra payment for his service later," Aden Yusuf, a pirate in Eyl, told AP over VHF radio.
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The pirates use money-counting machines -- the same technology seen at foreign exchange bureaus worldwide -- to ensure the cash is real. All payments are done in cash because Somalia, a failed state, has no functioning banking system.

"Getting this equipment is easy for us, we have business connections with people in Dubai, Nairobi, Djibouti and other areas," Yusuf said. "So we send them money and they send us what we want."
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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2008, 03:15:33 PM »
A wonder what kind of ships does be passing by d gulf of paria to the west of trinidad & the Atlantic Ocean to the East of Trini...

Time to rounds up ah team.....free loot :devil:

I an I iz u and u..seen

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2008, 07:27:12 PM »
Indian warship sinks Somali pirate vessel, navy says.


An Indian warship was able to fight off and destroy a suspected Somali pirate vessel, the navy said on Wednesday, the same day two other ships were hijacked off the coast of Somalia.

Meanwhile, the owners of a seized Saudi oil supertanker were reportedly negotiating for the release of the ship, anchored off the coast of Somalia.

The pirates had threatened to blow up the INS Tabar after Indian officers asked the pirate vessel to stop on Tuesday to be searched in the Gulf of Aden, the Indian navy said. Officials said they had also spotted pirates with rocket-propelled grenade launchers on the vessel.

The pirate vessel then opened fire on the Indian ship, which, according to GlobalSecurity.org, is a 122-metre vessel, carrying cruise missiles, surface-to-air missiles and six-barreled 30-mm machine guns for close combat.

"INS Tabar retaliated in self-defence and opened fire on the mother vessel," the navy said in a statement.

"Explosions were heard, possibly due to exploding ammunition that was stored on the vessel," the navy said, adding that the vessel then sank.

The Indians chased one of two speedboats accompanying the pirate vessel. The speedboat was later found abandoned. The other speedboat escaped, according to a navy statement.

The attack came the same day a Thai fishing boat with 16 crew members and an Iranian cargo ship with a crew of 25 were also hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.
Hijacked supertanker anchored off Somalia

Also Tuesday, pirates who hijacked a Saudi-owned supertanker anchored the vessel off the north coast of Somalia. The Sirius Star was anchored near Harardhere, 425 kilometres from Eyl. It is loaded with two million barrels of crude oil valued at around $100 million.

The ship, with 25 crew members on board, was seized over the weekend by Somali pirates, 830 kilometres off the Kenyan coast.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said Wednesday that the owners of the tanker "are negotiating on the issue" of a ransom but wouldn't elaborate.

He said "we do not like to negotiate with pirates, terrorists or hijackers." But he said the owners of the tanker are "the final arbiter" on the issue.

Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, said a total of 17 vessels are currently being held hostage in Somali waters with more than 300 crew members.

"It's getting out of control," Choong told the Associated Press.

Choong said eight ships have been hijacked this week. Since the beginning of the year, 39 ships have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, out of 95 attacked.

"There is no firm deterrent, that's why the pirate attacks are continuing," Choong said. "The criminal activities are flourishing because the risks are low and the rewards are extremely high."

Pirates have generally released ships they have seized after ransoms are paid.



Source: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/11/19/pirate-somali.html

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Re: Somali Pirates Tell All: They’re in It for the Money
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2008, 08:13:02 PM »
Indian warship sinks Somali pirate vessel, navy says.


An Indian warship was able to fight off and destroy a suspected Somali pirate vessel, the navy said on Wednesday, the same day two other ships were hijacked off the coast of Somalia.

Meanwhile, the owners of a seized Saudi oil supertanker were reportedly negotiating for the release of the ship, anchored off the coast of Somalia.

The pirates had threatened to blow up the INS Tabar after Indian officers asked the pirate vessel to stop on Tuesday to be searched in the Gulf of Aden, the Indian navy said. Officials said they had also spotted pirates with rocket-propelled grenade launchers on the vessel.

The pirate vessel then opened fire on the Indian ship, which, according to GlobalSecurity.org, is a 122-metre vessel, carrying cruise missiles, surface-to-air missiles and six-barreled 30-mm machine guns for close combat.

"INS Tabar retaliated in self-defence and opened fire on the mother vessel," the navy said in a statement.

"Explosions were heard, possibly due to exploding ammunition that was stored on the vessel," the navy said, adding that the vessel then sank.

The Indians chased one of two speedboats accompanying the pirate vessel. The speedboat was later found abandoned. The other speedboat escaped, according to a navy statement.

The attack came the same day a Thai fishing boat with 16 crew members and an Iranian cargo ship with a crew of 25 were also hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.
Hijacked supertanker anchored off Somalia

Also Tuesday, pirates who hijacked a Saudi-owned supertanker anchored the vessel off the north coast of Somalia. The Sirius Star was anchored near Harardhere, 425 kilometres from Eyl. It is loaded with two million barrels of crude oil valued at around $100 million.

The ship, with 25 crew members on board, was seized over the weekend by Somali pirates, 830 kilometres off the Kenyan coast.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said Wednesday that the owners of the tanker "are negotiating on the issue" of a ransom but wouldn't elaborate.

He said "we do not like to negotiate with pirates, terrorists or hijackers." But he said the owners of the tanker are "the final arbiter" on the issue.

Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, said a total of 17 vessels are currently being held hostage in Somali waters with more than 300 crew members.

"It's getting out of control," Choong told the Associated Press.

Choong said eight ships have been hijacked this week. Since the beginning of the year, 39 ships have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, out of 95 attacked.

"There is no firm deterrent, that's why the pirate attacks are continuing," Choong said. "The criminal activities are flourishing because the risks are low and the rewards are extremely high."

Pirates have generally released ships they have seized after ransoms are paid.



Source: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/11/19/pirate-somali.html


Oops! 'Pirate' ship was fishing trawler
 

NEW DELHI – The pirate "mother ship" sunk last week by the Indian navy was actually a Thai fishing trawler seized hours earlier by pirates, a maritime agency said Wednesday, but the Indian navy defended its actions, saying it fired in self-defence.

Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, said one Thai crew member died when the Indian frigate INS Tabar fired on the boat in the Gulf of Aden on Nov. 18.

Fourteen others are missing while a Cambodian sailor was rescued four days later by passing fishermen, he said. The maritime bureau received a report on the apparent mistake late Tuesday from Bangkok-based Sirichai Fisheries, which owned the trawler, the Ekawat Nava5, he said.

"The Indian navy assumed it was a pirate vessel because they may have seen armed pirates on board the boat which has been hijacked earlier," Choong said.

India's navy said last week that the INS Tabar, which began patrolling the gulf on Nov. 2, battled a pirate "mother ship" on Nov. 18, setting the ship ablaze.

In New Delhi, Indian navy spokesman Commander Nirad Sinha said Wednesday that the INS Tabor was responding to threats from pirates on board the ship to attack.

"Insofar as we are concerned, both its description and its intent were that of a pirate ship," he said. "Only after we were fired upon did we fire. We fired in self defence. There were gun-toting guys with RPGs on it."

"Pirates take over ships," he said. "They've been doing that since the days of Long John Silver."

Sirichai Fisheries found out about the mishap after speaking to the Cambodian sailor, who is now recuperating in a hospital in Yemen, said Wicharn Sirichaiekawat, the company's managing director. The trawler was headed from Oman to Yemen to deliver fishing equipment when it was hijacked.

"We are saddened with what has happened. It's an unfortunate tragedy. We hope that this incident won't affect the anti-piracy operation by the multi-coalition navies there," Choong added.

Sirichaiekawat said his company had contacted the International Maritime Bureau after getting messages from other boats in the region that the Ekawat Nava5 had come under pirate attack. The boat was outfitted with a transmitter sending out its location, which indicated the boat was headed toward the coast of Somalia, he said.

Sirichai Fisheries asked if any naval ships were in the area to help their stricken boat. The British navy responded, asking for information, but later told the company that pirates had already boarded the ship and any sort of attack on them could cause the crew to be harmed.

"The British navy instructed us to wait until the pirates contacted us," he said.

Meanwhile, the International Maritime Bureau alerted the multi-coalition forces patrolling the region and other military agencies in the area, sending them photos of the vessel, Choong said.

However, it was unclear if the Indian navy had received the information because it has no direct communication links to the maritime bureau, he said.

"We hope that individual navy warships that are patrolling the gulf would coordinate with the coalition forces or request information from us" to avoid such incidents, Choong added.

It's unclear whether darkness played a role in what happened. The Indian navy said earlier that the final showdown with what they called the "mother ship" occurred after nightfall, but also said the entire incident had taken a few hours, and that it had begun in the evening.

Somalia, an impoverished nation caught up in an Islamic insurgency, has not had a functioning government since 1991. Somali pirates have become increasingly brazen recently, seizing eight vessels in the past two weeks, including a Saudi supertanker loaded with $100 million worth of crude oil.

There have been 96 pirate attacks so far this year in Somali waters, with 39 ships hijacked. Fifteen ships with nearly 300 crew are still in the hands of pirates, who have demanded multimillion-dollar ransom.

At present, warships from Denmark, India, Malaysia, Russia, the U.S. and NATO patrol a vast international maritime corridor, escorting some merchant ships and responding to distress calls in the area.

Shippers worldwide have called for a military blockade of the waters off Somalia's coast to intercept pirate vessels heading out to sea, but NATO officials said there were no such plans. France has also rejected such a call, saying it was not feasible.

– – – – –

Associated Press Writer Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur contributed to this report. 02:57ET 26-11-08
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Pirates fire on US cruise ship in hijack attempt
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2008, 10:19:42 AM »
Pirates chased and shot at a U.S. cruise liner with more than 1,000 people on board but failed to hijack the vessel as it sailed along a corridor patrolled by international warships, a maritime official said Tuesday.

The liner, carrying 656 international passengers and 399 crew members, was sailing through the Gulf of Aden on Sunday when it encountered six bandits in two speedboats, said Noel Choong who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Malaysia.

The pirates fired at the passenger liner but the larger boat was faster than the pirates' vessels, Choong said.

"It is very fortunate that the liner managed to escape," he said, urging all ships to remain vigilant in the area.

The International Maritime Bureau, which fights maritime crime, did not know how many cruise liners use these waters.

The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain, said it was aware of the failed hijacking but had no further details.

Ship owner Oceania Cruises Inc. identified the vessel as the M/S Nautica.

In a statement on its Web site, the company said pirates fired eight rifle shots at the liner, but that the ship's captain increased speed and managed to outrun the skiffs.

All passengers and crew are safe and there was no damage to the vessel, it said.

The Nautica was on a 32-day cruise from Rome to Singapore, with stops at ports in Italy, Egypt, Oman, Dubai, India, Malaysia and Thailand, the Web site said. Based on that schedule, the liner was headed from Egypt to Oman when it was attacked.

The liner arrived in the southern Oman port city of Salalah on Monday morning, and the passengers toured the city before leaving for the capital, Muscat, Monday evening, an official of the Oman Tourism Ministry said Tuesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The head of a shipping agency branch in Salalah had contact with the liner there.

"They talked about pirates opening fire at their ship off the Somalian shores," Khalil Shaker told The Associated Press by telephone. He said he had no details of the incident.

It is not the first time a cruise liner has been attacked. In 2005, pirates opened fire on the Seabourn Spirit about 100 miles (160 kilometers) off the Somali coast. The faster cruise ship managed to escape, and used a long-range acoustic device — which blasts a painful wave of sound — to distract the pirates.

The International Maritime Bureau, in London, cited only the 2005 liner attack and a raid on the luxury yacht Le Ponant earlier this year as attacks on passenger vessels off Somalia.

International warships patrol the area and have created a security corridor in the region under a U.S.-led initiative, but the attacks have not abated.

In about 100 attacks on ships off the Somali coast this year, 40 vessels have been hijacked, Choong said. Fourteen remain in the hands of pirates along with more than 250 crew members.

In two if the most daring attacks, pirates seized a Ukrainian freighter loaded with 33 battle tanks in September, and on Nov. 15, a Saudi oil tanker carrying $100 million worth of crude oil.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry spokesman Vasyl Kyrylych said Monday that negotiations with Somali pirates holding the cargo ship MV Faina are nearly completed, the Interfax news agency reported.

A spokesman for the Faina's owner said Sunday that the Somali pirates had agreed on a ransom for the ship and it could be released within days.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, and pirates have taken advantage of the country's lawlessness to launch attacks on foreign shipping from the Somali coast. Around 100 ships have been attacked so far this year.

Somali prime minister Nur Hassan Hussein said Tuesday that his country has been torn apart by 18 years of civil war and cannot stop piracy alone.

"This needs a tremendous effort," Hussein told The Associated Press. He has appealed for international troops, as his government's Ethiopian allies have said they would pull out their forces by the end of the year.

Ethiopia, the region's military powerhouse, has been integral in boosting the government. But Islamic insurgents have now seized control of all of southern Somalia except for the capital and the parliamentary seat of Baidoa.

soon ah go b ah lean mean bulling machine.

Offline capodetutticapi

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Re: Pirates fire on US cruise ship in hijack attempt
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2008, 10:20:17 AM »
them gettin real brazen and cockish now.
soon ah go b ah lean mean bulling machine.

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Re: Pirates fire on US cruise ship in hijack attempt
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2008, 10:31:12 AM »
"The pirates fired at the passenger liner but the larger boat was faster than the pirates' vessels, Choong said."
dem pirates were rowing their boat or what? :devil:
Whatever you do, do it to the purpose; do it thoroughly, not superficially. Go to the bottom of things. Any thing half done, or half known, is in my mind, neither done nor known at all. Nay, worse, for it often misleads.
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