Nov 25 2008
The Somali pirates are at it again, this time hijacking a Yemeni ship:
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Somali pirates have hijacked a Yemeni ship loaded with steel, officials said on Tuesday, and one of Asia’s biggest shippers said it was diverting vulnerable vessels away from the dangerous Gulf of Aden.
Scores of attacks this year have brought the pirates millions of dollars in ransoms, hiked up shipping insurance costs, sent foreign navies rushing to the area, and left about a dozen boats with more than 200 hostages still in pirate hands.
Yemen’s official SABA news agency said the Yemeni ship MV Adina was travelling from Mukalla port to the southern island of Socotra and had been due to dock on November 20 with 507 tonnes of steel.
Yemeni security sources said the authorities were in touch with the pirates, who were demanding a $2 million ransom.
This is apparently the same group who hijacked the Saudi supertanker a couple of weeks ago:
Meanwhile, a spokesman for pirates holding a Saudi supertanker loaded with crude oil has told the BBC a ransom has not been determined. The spokesman said the pirates have spoken to company intermediaries, but found them to be untrustworthy.
Pirates seized the Sirius Star Nov. 15. The supertanker was carrying 2 million barrels of crude oil worth that has been estimated to be worth about $100 million.
Untrustworthy? I would think pirates are untrustworthy. The continued hijacking of ships is costing millions of dollars and has to be having an impact on the troubled world economy. What is being done to combat these pirates?
Peter Swift, head of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko) suggested that warships could begin monitoring vessels leaving Somali waters, rather than attempting to patrol the entire Gulf of Aden and a significant part of the Indian Ocean.
He said the other option was a blockade around Somalia.
However, Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said on Monday that the alliance was not considering any naval blockade.
He said that such action has not been endorsed by the UN Security Council. Nato has four warships on duty in the area.
Looks like politics is playing a key role in the success of the pirates. The companies are sending some of the most valuable cargo in the world across the a vast ocean and hoping they are not captured. Seems to me that it is high time for a serious display of naval power in the area; one displayed though a coordinated effort involving many countries would be best. A global effort of organized attacks on these pirates with conviction and dedication will make the shipping lanes safer. We should be past the age of piracy on the high seas by now. Our economy cannot afford to pay ransom for resources.