CASES NOT COMPLETELY CLOSED:
MS INDIAN OCEAN EXPLORER and S/Y SERENITY - presumed sunken, but wrecks not secured.
BARGE NN - an unnamed barge (allegedly with chemical waste) is held at Kulule (near Bendar-Beyla) since mid March. Ownership and circumstances could not yet be clarified. In the meantime local people have developed some ailments. Community awareness campaign was carried out, barge is provisionally secured. The case needs an immediate solution.
S/Y JUMLA or YUMLA ? - a mysterious yacht with three Africans on board was/is kept since a long time near Dinooda on the Indian Ocean coast. Rumors say the yacht was involved in the sea-jacking of NAVIOS APOLLON and was then sighted near Hobyo.
FV INTMAS 6 [aka FV TAWARIQ 2]: Was missing since March 2009. FV INTMAS 6 (sometimes named FV TAWARIQ 2) with a crew of around 30 seamen went missing around the time when FV TAWARIQ 1 was arrested by Tanzanian authorities with the help of the South African coastguard for illegal fishing. Families of four Kenyan crew members, who were hired by a Chinese shipping agent in Kenya, are desperate to know the fate of their relatives, while the shipping agent is now held also in the Tanzanian prisons in connection with the arrest of FV TAWARIQ 1. When FV TAWARIQ 1 was seized also FV TAWARIQ 2, 3 and 4 fled from the Western Indian Ocean. TAWARIQ 4 is now anchored in Singapore, TAWARIQ 3 caught fire off Mauritius, which has developed into a hub for fish-poachers, and TAWARIQ 2 (INTMAS 6) and her multi-national crew comprised of Taiwanese, Chinese, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Indonesians and Kenyans was missing for nearly a year. When FV WIN FAR 161 was captured by Somalis, who had followed the vessel close to the Seychelles , the other WIN FAR vessels were called back to Taiwan. The Taiwanese real shipowner of FV TAWARIQ 1, who is said to also have had his part in FV WIN FAR 161, which recently was released from Somalia with two dead sailors on board - is wanted by the authorities too. INTMAS 6 also fled from Tanzania after the arrest of FV TAWARIQ 1 - first to the Seychelles and then to Malaysia, from where now three Kenyan crew members returned to Kenya and the repatriation of a fourth from Bangkok is awaited. While the vessel is reportedly now sailing from Malaysia to Bangkok, investigations are ongoing.
MT AGIA BARBARA: INDIAN AND SYRIAN CREW STILL WANTED FOR MURDER - vessel escaped from Somalia after the murder of a TFG policeman and the attempted murder of another to the UAE - unhindered by international naval forces. See our respective updates for details.
FV WIN FAR 161 - The freed vessel returned under mainland China's naval escort back to Taiwan, but an independent investigation into the death of at least one Chinese and one Indonesian sailor as well as into the involvement of the ship in the attack on US-flagged container vessel MV MAERSK ALABAMA has not yet been completed, while Hsieh Long-yan, president of the ship's owner Win Far Fishery, continues to be elusive and evades questions to know why he lied to the Foreign Minister of Taiwan and why he didn't facilitate relief and medical support for the crew during many month.
1 YEMENI BOAT : Missing since 11. January 2010 from Warsha Island in Alaraj area in Yemen's province of Hudaida (not yet counted on list of pirated vessels - but mentioned here as alert). Originally two dhows had gone missing on the same day, but one - MSV AL HADRAMI 73 - was found by EU NAVFOR with the vessel abandoned and the crew missing, which apparently had left the vessel with a skiff because the engine had broken down. The vessel was towed back to Yemen and handed over to the owner on 20th February.
Legal Dispute: MV LEILA - The Panama-flagged but UAE owned Ro-Ro cargo ship of 2,292 grt with IMO NO. 7302794 and MMSI NO. 352723000 , is held at the Somaliland port of Berbera since September 15, 2009 at gunpoint and under a court order in a legal dispute between Somaliland authorities, cargo owners and the ship-owner. Somali company Omar International claims cargo damages caused by fire on MV MARIAM STAR who caught fire on the upper deck while at Berbera port in early September of 2009. MV MIRIAM STAR - a fleet-sistership - is likewise still at Berbera. The expatriate crew could be freed and repatriated.
CASES IN NEGOTIATIONS:
Sea-jacked British couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler, aged 60 and 58, were abducted from their 38-ft yacht S/Y LYNN RIVAL, seized October 22, 2009 en route to Tanzania, and are still held in Somalia. The yacht was recovered by the crew of UK naval vessel Waveknight, after they witnessed the transfer of the Chandlers to commandeered MV KOTA WAJAR. The yacht was brought back to England. The elderly couple is now held on land close to Harardheere, sometimes separated for fear of a commando attack . The case is turning more and more ugly with pirates becoming brutal, politicians ignorant and the financially incapable family intimidated by several sidelines, whose money-guided approach is undermining bids by local elders, human rights groups and the Somali Diaspora to get the innocent couple free. Some humanitarian efforts, however, are now under way and Somali elders, respected leaders and the Somali Diaspora have renewed their demand for an unconditional release. Latest reports from the ground say that the couple is now treated better, though they often are kept separated for fear of a military rescue attempt. The health of both elderly people is reportedly deteriorating rapidly. Relief and medicine has been sent by a humanitarian organization and was received by the couple.
MV SOCOTRA 1: Seized December 25. 2009. The vessel carrying a food cargo for a Yemeni businessman and bound for Socotra Archipelago was captured in the Gulf of Aden after it left Alshahir port in the eastern province of Hadramout. 6 crew members of Yemeni nationality were aboard. Latest information said the ship was commandeered onto the high seas between Oman and Pakistan, possibly in another piracy or smuggling mission. VESSEL STILL MISSING.
MT ST JAMES PARK: Seized December 28, 2009 at position 12°58'4N-48°34'1E which is in the Gulf of Aden International Recognised Transit Corridor (IRTC), while on voyage from Tarragona, Spain to Tha Phut, Thailand. The registered owner PHILBOX Ltd. is fronting for the management company ZODIAC MARITIME AGENCIES LTD in London, while the beneficial owners are the Ofer Brothers - the Israeli brothers Sammy and Yehuda (Yuli) Ofer . There are 26 crew members on board including the Russian captain and their nationalities are: 6 Indian, 5 Bulgarian, 3 Russian, 3 Filipinos, 3 Turkish, 2 Romanian, 2 Ukrainian, 1 Polish, 1 Georgian. The ship was registred with MSC HOA and was transiting north west towards the International Recommended Transiting Corridor that she was expected to enter 3 Jan. The UK-flagged chemical tanker sent a security alert 14:20 GMT (17:20 Local Time) she also sent an unspecified distress message which was received by RCC Piraeus. The St James Park loaded at Assemini and Tarragona her cargo of 13,175 tonnes of 1,2-dichloroethane - commonly known by its old name of ethylene dichloride (EDC) and used in the manufacturing of plastics and not dangerous in normal carriage conditions. However, 1,2-dichloroethane is toxic (especially by inhalation due to its high vapour pressure), corrosive, highly flammable, and possibly carcinogenic. Its high solubility and 50-year half-life in anoxic aquifers make it a perennial pollutant and health risk that is very expensive to treat conventionally, requiring a method of bioremediation. The vessel's last port of call was Jeddah, where she stopped for Bunkers on 24th December 2009. The tanker was held near Garacad at the North-Eastern Somali coast. During the night of 16./17. February a naval vessel came close and provoked heavy gun-fire from the pirates of MV ST JAMES PARK as well as from neighbouring MV RIM. After the incident, in which the naval vessel didn't return fire and left, MV ST JAMES PARK changed position first to Kulub and is now held off Dhinoowda Qoryaweyn. Negotiations have become difficult and are said to have not been finalized, but are ongoing.
VC ASIAN GLORY: Seized January 02, 2010. The UK-flagged, UK-owned car carrier was taken around 620nm off the Somali coast in the Indian Ocean, while after leaving the South Korean port of Ulsan en route from Singapore to the Gulf of Aden and Saudi Arabia. The 25 crew members -- eight Bulgarians, including the captain, 10 Ukrainians, five Indians, two Romanians are said to be unharmed. DAYER MARITIME INC fronts as registered owners for the management company ZODIAC MARITIME AGENCIES LTD and the real owners, the Ofer Brothers - the Israeli brothers Sammy and Yehuda (Yuli) Ofer . The vessel was first held near Hobyo at the Central Somali coast. From there it was commandeered now twice out to sea to aid pirate motherships. VC ASIAN GLORY in both cases was after rescuing these pirates taken back to the Somali coast, in the first instance to Garacad, in the second to Danaane and the floating pirate base was then held 4.8nm off Hobyo again at the Central Indian Ocean coast of Somalia. though Iranian media had reported her release already, stating it transported weapons destined for Saudi Arabia. Negotiations to release the vessel seem to still have not reached a conclusion, while the vessel was commandeered again to a location a little farther off the coast near Garacad. Reports by first Iranian and then the Bulgarian media that the vessel had been released for a ransom of US5m are false and the vessel is still held while negotiation are not forthcoming and rumours persist that the Bulgarian master is missing from the ship.
MV RIM: Seized February 02, 2010. The North-Korean-flagged, Libyan owned general cargo vessel MV RIM was captured - en route from Eritrea to presumably Yemen - in the north-western Gulf of Aden just south of the Yemeni coast on 2nd February 2009 . Though a coalition ship USS PORTER that works closely with EU NAVFOR and a helicopter from USS FARRAGUT, both of CMF CTF 151, confirmed that the RIM had been hijacked, EU NAVFOR headquarters first declined to confirm the report on 2nd to Somalia's anti-piracy envoy - only to report it then a day later.
EU NAVFOR then stated that the vessel was sea-jacked to the north of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), was not registered with MSC HOA and has had no communications with UKMTO, the British operation in Bahrain.
The relatively small coastal cargo ship of 4,800 tonnes is still listed in the ship registers as being owned by White Sea Shipping of Tripoli in Libya, while in reality it was allegedly sold now to another company for her last cargo trip with a load of clay and with a final destination at the scrapyards in India.
Her crew comprises at the moment of 10 sailors - all of Syrian nationality. An actual crew-list has now been provided. The vessel and crew are neither covered by an ITF Agreement nor an appropriate insurance.
The ship was first commandeered to the Somali Gulf of Aden coast near LasKorey where it encountered Puntland forces and the pirates exchanged fire with them. Then it sailed around the tip of the very Horn of Africa to Garacad on the Indian Ocean side.
The vessel has been moved from Garacad - because local elders protested - to Kulub, where it is held 5.3 nm off the shore at the North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia. Negotiations between the pirates and the owners have commenced, while nosy naval vessels nearby drew in one case fire from the pirates. Numerous sidelines opened by Somali brokers make the case difficult. The captors have threatened to kill the captain if their ransom demand- reported elsewhere as $3million - is not fulfilled. If rational, the reason for the high demand for a ship which is on her last leg to the scrapyards can only be found in the cargo, which - if really only clay, as stated by the owner - also wouldn't make sense.
M.S.V. ABDUL RAZAK: Seized before February 23, 2010 and after 17 November 2008 (latest contact). The 40m ship with 9 crew of Indian nationality was captured by Somali sea-shifta. on her way from Kandala to Dubai. No information concerning the condition of the crew available.
So far the vessel had been reported only as missing or lost at sea by the owner.
Reportedly a 7 men gang of sea-shifta from Garacad, a notorious pirate den at the Indian Ocean coast of North-Eastern Somalia, is/was commandeering the vessel.
Latest informations indicate that the vessel was already misused as pirate mother-ship far off in the Indian Ocean. An intensive search by ECOTERRA Intl. along the coast revealed that it is at present not at the Somali coasts.
Upcoming information says that it might have been involved in an encounter with an Asian naval vessel at the end of February 2009.
SOMALILAND LORRIES: Seized February 25, 2010. Seven lorries and at least 9 persons from their driver-crews of Isaak ethnicity from Somaliland were captured by a gang of sea-shifta from Garacad in order to press their comrades free from Somaliland jails. No financial demands have been made. According to sources close to the pirates, the trucks are been kept in small town near the pirate lair of Garacad called Kulub.
FV AL-SHURA: Seized after February 20, 2010 and most likely on 25th February with one of 9 sailors being killed by Somali pirate-attackers. Present location of Yemeni vessel and crew unknown. Navies have apparently not yet located the dhow.
BB AL-NISR-AL-SAUDI: Seized on March 01, 2010. The relatively small bunker barge Al Nisr Al Saudi was empty when it was taken in the Gulf of Aden. The captain of the ship is Greek and the nationality of the 13 other crew is Sri Lankan. All crew is believed to be safe. The 5,136 ton ship was not registered with maritime authorities and was outside the designated route that naval warships patrol.The vessel is currently held at Garacad and communications between the pirates and the owner have been established. Contrary to many other vessels the families of the hostage-seafarers are very well taken care of.
N.N.: In the early afternoon of 02 MAR 2010 a merchant vessel has been pirated in the vicinity of Aden, ICC/IMB/PRC reported. Further details and specifics of crew were not yet released.
FV SAKOBA is a fishing vessel, presently flying Kenyan flag, which has become infamous in the fish-poaching world since many years and its clandestine operations are very well known to several environmental organizations. It has a murky track record.
The sixteen men crew consists of one Spaniard of Portuguese origin as captain, the chief engineer from Poland, ten Kenyans, two Senegalese and one sailor each from Namibia and Cape Verde. The Spanish owner of the vessel holds 99.9% of the shares in the Kenyan registered company , which exports the fish to Europe via his Spanish company. The Spanish owner is now at Nairobi in Kenya with the Spanish Ambassador and had reportedly contact with the Somali group holding the vessel. Families of the Kenyan seafarers demonstrated in Mombasa to seek support and information from the Spanish shipowner and the Kenyan government. The legal procession to hand a petition to the Kenya Maritime Authority was broken up by Kenya police, who detained one human rights activist.
MT UBT OCEAN: seized on March 05, 2010. The Marshall Islands-flagged, Norwegian owned oil-product tanker with 21 crew from Burma was captured between the Seychelles and Tanzania in the Indian Ocean while heading towards Dar es Salaam at position 04°34'S-048°09'E at 06h39 UTC (0939 LT). It was said that FV SAKOBA was somehow involved in the sea-jacking of the Norwegian tanker. However, later the position of the attack was said to have been 09°12'S-044°20'E, which seems not to be plausible. The 120 m long 9,224dwt tanker belongs to shipowners Brovigtank and is managed by Singapore-based Nautictank. The tanker has been commandeered to the coast near Harardheere at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast, where vessel and crew are held now 4.3 nm off the beach.
CHARCOAL SHIP ex Dubai: Seized March 17, 2010 after the vessel left Kudah port in Southern Somalia loaded with charcoal for illegal export. Composition of crew not yet known.
MV FRIGIA: Seized March 22, 2010. The Turkish owned, Malta-flagged 35,244-dwt bulker with Israeli-owned cargo of phosphate was hijacked off the Indian coast before midnight at Posn: 11:41.53N - 066:05.38E - 670nm east of Socotra Island and arounf 900nm from Somalia. At 0137 UTC a distress signal was sent. The vessel has a crew of 21 sailors - 19 Turks and two Ukrainians. The vessel arrived at Garacad at the North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia.
MV TALCA: Seized March 23, 2010. The British-managed, Bermuda-flagged reefer was on her way to Iran from Egypt with a 22 men crew - 20 Sri Lankans, one Filipino and one Syrian, and was seized 120nm off the coast of Oman at 13h33 UTC
by 2 skiffs in position 17º27N - 05º642E. The vessel is reportedly commandeered southwards to the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia, where it first arrived at Baargaal on March 25, 2010 -possibly only for a stopover on her way to Garacad. Reza Nourani, head of the fresh fruits importers and exporters union, said the 5000-tonne ship belongs to two members of the Iranian union and is carrying $4 million worth of Egyptian oranges.
FV AZ ZABANIYAH: Seized March 25, 2010: The Yemeni fishing vessel, which had left al-Shiher port in Hadramout in late February, was captured off Somalia's northern coast, while one of its 12 crew members was killed.
Security authorities in Yemen's southeast province of Hadramout confirmed that the capture took place while the Yemeni fishing vessel was in the Somali territory waters. Among the 12 crew members were eight Yemeni fishermen, two Somalis and two Tanzanian nationals, while Othman Mohamed of Tanzania was killed during the operation.
The vessel along with its 11 crew members is now in Somali captivity, while the Yemeni security authorities are seeking to achieve a release. The vessel is not coming to the Somali shores because the captors try to use it as piracy launch to hunt bigger prey.
MSV VISV(A)KALYAN (VRL) (aka VISHVA KALYAN = Global Peace): Seized March 26, 2010. The Indian-owned Dhow had left Kismaayo harbour in Southern Somalia with an illegal consignment of charcoal. It was subsequently captured by a Somali gang of sea-shifta and commandeered to the Seychelles where the gang holding ML ARZOO, which had ran out of fuel, was relieved and taken onboard the Indian-flagged dhow. Present position and course or number of crew not known.
MSV NAL NARAYAN: Seized March 26, 2010. Indian-flagged dhow loaded with charcoal from Kismaayo. Present position and course or number of crew not known.
MSV SA QUEEN: Seized March 26, 2010. Indian-flagged dhow loaded with charcoal from Kismaayo. Present position and course or number of crew not known.
FV N.N.: A "SPANISH" FISHING VESSEL: Seized March 28, 2010 is now commandeered to Harardheere, reportedly with two dead crew as well as one dead and one injured Somali on board. It is assumed that the vessel has at least 20 crew.
MV ICEBERG 1: Seized March 29, 2010. The Ro-Ro vessel MV ICEBERG 1 with her 24 crew members was sea-jacked just 10nm outside Aden Port, Gulf of Aden. The vessel is now commandeered to the Somali coast.
THIS INFORMATION IS ALSO A WARNING TO VESSELS TRAVERSING THE SOMALI BASIN TO BE AWARE OF LARGER VESSELS BEING USED AS LAUNCHING PADS AND DECOY FOR PIRACY ATTACKS .
All vessels navigating in the Indian Ocean are advised to consider keeping East of 60E when routing North/South and to consider routing East of 60E and South of 10S when proceeding to and from ports in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.
For 2010 the recorded account stands at 42 attacks resulting in 17 sea-jackings.
The naval alliances had since August 2008 and until January 2010 apprehended 666 suspected pirates, detained and kept or transferred for prosecution 367, killed 47 and wounded 22 Somalis. (New independent update see: http://bruxelles2.over-blog.com/pages/_Bilan_antipiraterie_Atalanta_CTF_Otan_Russie_Exclusif-1169128.html).
Not fully documented cases of absconded vessels are not listed in the sea-jack count until clarification. Several other vessels with unclear fate (although not in the actual count), who were reported missing over the last ten years in this area, are still kept on our watch-list, though in some cases it is presumed that they sunk due to bad weather or being unfit to sail - like the S/Y Serenity, MV Indian Ocean Explorer.Present multi-factorial risk assessment code: GoA: RED / IO: RED (Red = Very much likely, high season; Orange = Reduced risk, but very likely, Yellow = significantly reduced risk, but still likely, Blue = possible, Green = unlikely). Piracy incidents usually degrade during the monsoon season and rise gradually by the end of the monsoon. Starting from mid February until early April every year an increase in piracy cases can be expected.
If you have any additional information concerning the cases, please send to office[at]ecoterra-international.org - if required we guarantee 100% confidentiality.
For further details and regional information see the Somali Marine and Coastal Monitor at www.australia.to and the map of the PIRACY COASTS OF SOMALIA.