Why David Cameron will not stop Somali pirates getting their pieces of eight

Is it right to pay ransoms to pirates? That’s a question that comes up for discussion in Whitehall next week, when David Cameron’s piracy ransoms task force meets to discuss how to stop the lucrative flow of pieces of eight into Somalia in recent years. Chaired by two civil service mandarins, one from the Foreign Office and one from the Home Office, along with representatives of 14 other seafaring nations, the task force was tasked in February with looking into ways of banning ransom payments altogether, or, failing that, dramatically curbing them. As the PM put it, “they only ensure that crime pays.” Read More

Nigeria: Pirates hijack Singapore-owned oil tanker

Pirates have hijacked a Singapore-owned oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria. A Nigerian navy spokesman told the BBC two ships and a helicopter are trying to rescue the Abu Dhabi Star

Somali Piracy and the Monsoon Seasons.

What to expect – come September?

28 August 2012


After a full four-week period with no incidents recorded in the High Risk Area1 during mid-summer (26 June – 26 July 2012), August has seen a slight return of activity with 3 suspicious approaches in the Bab-el Mandeb and 1 hijack (dhow at Salalah, 11 Aug, recaptured by naval forces) since 27 July.  Read More


Reporting period 08 -14 Aug 2012 (Updated: 15 Aug 2012)

(The following Information is taken from the NATO Shipping Centre)

Weekly Pirated Vessels Update
NUMBER OF SHIPS: 7 (This includes vessels known to be taken for ransom)

Name Flag Date Pirated Crew
1) ICEBERG 1 Panama 29-Mar-10 22
2) ALBEDO Malaysia 25-Nov-10 15
3) ORNA Panama 20-Dec-10 19
4) FREE GODDESS Liberia 07-Feb-12 21
5) ROYAL GRACE Panama 02-Mar-12 22
6) NAHAM 3 Oman 26-Mar-12 29
7) SMYRNI Liberia 10-May-12 26


Ex FV PRANTALAY 18-Apr-10 4
Ex MV LEOPARD 12-Jan-11 6
Ex MV ASPHALT 16-Apr-11 7
Ex MV Gemini 30-Apr-11 4
Ex FV Aride 29-Oct-11 2


 A Greek-owned oil tanker has been released after being seized by pirates off the coast of Togo in West Africa, according to the Manx Ship Registry.

(The following Information is taken from the ICC Commercial Crime Services)

28.08.2012: 0300 LT: 06:00N – 001:16E: Lome Anchorage, Togo.
Armed pirates boarded and hijacked an anchored product tanker. The Togo Navy received a distress call and dispatched a patrol boat which intercepted the tanker which was already underway. Orders to stop the vessel were ignored and the pirates opened fire at the patrol boat. The patrol boat returned fire. The tanker proceeded into neighbouring country’s waters and escaped. The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre informed all authorities in the region and broadcast a warning to ships in the area to look out for the vessel and report and sightings. A search by air and sea is continuing to locate the tanker.

21.08.2012: 0230 UTC: Posn: 09:15.9N – 013:58.3W, Around 23nm SW of Conakry Port, Guinea.
Seven armed robbers in a fast boat approached an anchored general cargo ship during heavy rain. Six robbers boarded the vessel and entered the bridge by firing at and breaking the bridge windows. They took hostage the electrical officer, second officer and third officer, tied their hands and took them to the Masters cabin. They then ransacked the Masters, Chief Eng, 2/Mate, 3/Mate and 2nd Eng cabins, stole cash and other valuable belongings and escaped in their waiting boat. 3/Mate received slight injuries on the face when he was hit during the incident. The Master contacted Conakry port control but no response received.

03.08.2012: 2220 LT: Posn: 03:46N – 006:40E, Around 45nm SW of Bonny Island, Nigeria.
Pirates armed with AK 47 approached and boarded an anchored barge. They opened fire on the vessel. Two naval personnel killed and two naval personnel injured. The pirates stole vessels property and cash and kidnapped 4 crew members before escaping. Incident was reported to Nigerian Navy and Bonny Station. Naval personnel were deployed to secure the barge. Negotiations in progress for the safe release fo the 4 kidnapped crew members.

Please see below figures for piracy and armed robbery incidents as reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in 2012

Worldwide Incidents: updated on 16 August 2012
Total Attacks Worldwide:        202
Total Hijackings Worldwide:    21

Incidents Reported for Somalia:
Total Incidents: 70
Total Hijackings:13
Total Hostages: 212

Current vessels held by Somali pirates:
Vessels: 11 Hostages: 188.