The Big Picture: Photos of the Somali piracy problem

Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 09:26 pm
Pirates of Somalia

Somali pirates continue their attacks against international ships in and around the Gulf of Aden, despite the deterrent of stepped-up international naval escorts and patrols - and the increased failure rate of their attacks. Under agreements with Somalia, the U.N, and each other, ships belonging to fifteen countries now patrol the area. Somali pirates - who have won themselves nearly $200 million in ransom since early 2008 - are being captured more frequently now, and handed over to authorities in Kenya, Yemen and Somalia for trial. Collected here are some recent photos of piracy off the coast of Somalia, and the international efforts to rein it in. (30 photos total)
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Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 03:15 pm
@Robert Gentel,
the BBC reports that another two ships were seized by pirates off the coast of somalia .


Pirates seize tankers off Somalia
Pirates have seized two European-owned tankers off the coast of Somalia in the past day, officials have said.

The Greek-owned vessel Nipayia, with 19 crew on board, was seized on Wednesday, the Nato Shipping Centre said.

The Norwegian-owned tanker Bow Asir was captured by pirates on Thursday. It had a crew of 27 on board, the Norwegian Shipowners' Association said.

Warships from more than a dozen nations currently patrol the region, following a spike in pirate attacks in 2008.

A European Union naval taskforce of seven warships reports some success in preventing other seizures, BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins says.

But a spokesman for the taskforce stressed that patrolling more than a million square miles of ocean is a huge undertaking, our correspondent reports.

Some ships are taking successful counter-measures and outrunning the pirates, he says, while others are sailing in groups along sea corridors where they can be offered better protection.

can't help wondering why the ships are not all moving in conveys through those pirate infested waters - perhaps the shipowners have too much money ?
if the ships are insured against acts of piracy , i wonder if the shipping companies will be able to continue purchasing insurance if they are not changing they operational mode .

from The Times Of London :


September 11, 2008

Shipping insurance cost soars with piracy surge off Somalia - Miles Costello

A dramatic increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia and a ten-fold increase in insurance premiums has sent the cost of sending ships through one of the world's busiest transport routes, soaring, shipping experts said yesterday.

The warning came as pirates hijacked the latest cargo ship off the Horn of Africa yesterday. The South Korean vessel and its nine crew joined 10 other ships being held for ransom by pirates in Somali waters as the country suffers a crippling humanitarian crisis and its worst bout of insecurity since the early 1990s.

Insurance companies have increased premiums for sending a cargo shipment through the Gulf of Aden to about $9,000 from $900 a year ago.Meanwhile, the pirates, who use speed boats and are armed with rocket propelled grenades and assault rifles, have become increasingly sophisticated in their attacks. Ships are typically held for at least three months before a ransom, which averages $1million, can secure their release.

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Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 04:28 pm
I wonder:

a) How many pirates it takes to capture a vessel? (10? 20? more?)
b) How is the ransom divided among the pirates?
c) $3 million divided among 20 pirates is $150,000 apiece. How far will $150,000 take you in Somalia?
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 05:19 pm
How far will $150,000 take you in Somalia?

"sold to the highest bidder ! "
sorry drewdad , you now own somalia .
care to visit your new "kingdom" ?

Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 05:23 pm
from BBC NEWS :

"somalia pirates living the highlife"


"They have money; they have power and they are getting stronger by the day," says Abdi Farah Juha who lives in the regional capital, Garowe.

"They wed the most beautiful girls; they are building big houses; they have new cars; new guns," he says.

"Piracy in many ways is socially acceptable. They have become fashionable."

Most of them are aged between 20 and 35 years - in it for the money.

And the rewards they receive are rich in a country where almost half the population need food aid after 17 years of non-stop conflict.

Most vessels captured in the busy shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden fetch on average a ransom of $2m.

This is why their hostages are well looked after.

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