Piracy Reports 31 October to 7 November 2013

INDIAN OCEAN: On 6 November, a merchant vessel reported a pirate attack near position 05:40 S – 046:59 E, approximately 450 nm east-southeast of Mombasa, Kenya. The ship reported being attacked by five heavily armed pirates in one skiff, with the pirates reportedly exchanging gunfire with the ship’s embarked security team. The alarm was raised as the attack started, and the ship increased speed, activated the fire pumps, and started evasive maneuvers. The pirates reportedly moved away from the ship after the embarked security team returned gunfire.

INDIAN OCEAN: On 5 November, FGS NIEDERSACHSEN interdicted a pirate attack off Somalia. The PAG reportedly consisted of one whaler and skiff. There
were ten suspected pirates sighted in the boats along with numerous large fuel barrels. Upon closer surveillance, personnel in the boats were reportedly seen throwing two long ladders overboard before heading back to the beach.

INDONESIA: On 4 November, an anchored chemical tanker experienced an attempted boarding near position 03:54 N – 098:46 E, Belawan Anchorage. Duty crew spotted one boat with robbers attempting to board the tanker via anchor chain but alert crew thwarted the boarding. A second boat was hidden near the propeller and the crew could not chase them away with fire hoses. The propeller was turned on resulting in the robbers moving away. The robbers were spotted with some stolen hull anodes in their boat. Port Control informed of the incident.

INDIA: On 2 November, an anchored container ship experienced a boarding near position 21:40 N – 088:01 E, Sagar Anchorage. 15 armed robbers boarded the ship and were spotted by ship’s duty officer, who raised the alarm. The robbers were stealing ship’s stores and jumped overboard when the alarm was raised.

Source: United States Navy, Office of Naval Intelligence.

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Kenya jails 9 Somali pirates over attempted hijack

Five years each, less time served. Huh. I’m old enough to remember when “piracy with violence” was punishable by death under the Piracy Act (1837).

Kenya jails nine Somali pirates for attacking German ship

(Reuters) – A Kenyan court in the coastal city of Mombasa sentenced nine Somalis on Tuesday to five years in prison each for attempting to hijack the German merchant vessel MV Courier in the Gulf of Aden in March 2009.

The men were arrested by international anti-piracy forces before being handed over to Kenya to be prosecuted, as Somalia was not considered able to try them properly.

Although the number of attacks has fallen markedly since 2011 thanks to tougher security aboard ships and increased Western naval patrols, piracy emanating from the Horn of Africa nation may still cost the world economy about $18 billion a year, the World Bank said in April.

Prosecutors told the court the men attacked the ship armed with a rocket launcher, an AK-47 rifle, a pistol, a SAR80 carbine rifle, and other weapons.

“The suspects used violence to hijack the vessel, and took control of it, putting in fear the lives of those aboard,” prosecutors said in the charge sheet. Kenyan officials said 18 crew on board survived the ordeal.

The nine suspects were held in custody at one of Kenya’s maximum security prisons during the trial period. They all denied the accusations.

While handing out the sentence, the court noted that the accused had already served a long term in jail while the trial was in progress, and therefore were given shorter jail terms.

“I am satisfied with the evidence presented by the prosecution, which proves beyond reasonable doubt that an act of piracy was committed,” judge Stephen Riech said.

Riech ordered the nine to be deported to Somalia after serving their sentences.

Last month another nine Somalis were handed a similar sentence at the same court, after also being found guilty of hijacking a ship in the Gulf of Aden in 2010.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/30/us-kenya-somalia-piracy-idUSBRE96T0V120130730