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February 24, 2011

Pirates kill four American hostages

Pirates kill four American hostages – Wikinews, the free news source

Pirates kill four American hostages

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

According to CBS 3, the four Americans taken hostage after their yacht was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Oman in the Indian Ocean have been killed. Pirates hijacked their yacht, named The Quest, on February 18.

The U.S. Naval ship that was following the yacht, which was traveling off the coast of Somalia, heard gunshots and attempted a rescue operation. Naval personnel had been negotiating with pirates when the incident occurred. After boarding the vessel, soldiers killed 2 pirates and detained at least 13 others. During the process they discovered that the pirates had shot and killed all four hostages.

“The forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors. Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds,” said a statement issued by the U.S. Central Command.

The hostages were identified as Scott and Jean Adam, husband and wife who owned the yacht, from Marina Del Rey, California. Their two friends were Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle from Seattle, Washington. Two other bodies were found on the yacht, believed to be pirates. The party was taking place in a race with other boats, which started in Thailand, when they decided to leave it after scheduled stop in Mumbai, India. Reports say they spent some of their time distributing bibles around the world. They changed course and were hijacked by the pirates off the coast of Oman.



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February 11, 2011

Tankers taken by pirates in Indian Ocean

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Tankers taken by pirates in Indian Ocean

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Pirates have hijacked two tankers carrying a total of 374,255 metric tons of crude oil off the coast of Oman in the Indian Ocean. After these attacks, pirates now control 29 ships and 660 hostages; pirates recently released Keummi 305, a South Korean ship.

Early Tuesday, an Italian ship, MV Savina Caylin, was boarded 670 miles east of Socotra Island. The oil tanker had 104,255 metric tons on board; it was traveling from Sudan to Malaysia. Shots were fired at the vessel, beginning the attacks at 0625 GMT; the pirates used rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. At the time, the tanker was 500 miles from India and 800 miles from Somalia. An Italian navy spokesperson stated that no one was injured in the attack—17 crew members were on board when at least 5 pirates boarded.

A similar attack occurred Wednesday on a Greek tanker, containing 270,000 metric tons of oil, off the coast of Oman. Greek company Enesel SA, which manages the ship, reported that 25 crew members were on board. The vessel was headed from Kuwait to United States’ Gulf of Mexico. Irene SL has not been in contact with its owners since the attack.


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September 24, 2010

Kenyan court jails seven pirates for 2009 attempted hijack of Maltese ship

Kenyan court jails seven pirates for 2009 attempted hijack of Maltese ship

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Friday, September 24, 2010

A court in Mombasa, Kenya has sentenced a group of seven Somali pirates to five years each in jail, according to a statement by the European Union. Anti-piracy mission EU Navfor said the septet were arrested by Spanish navy sailors after attacking Malta-registered cargo vessel Anny Petrakis.

Presiding over the conviction and sentencing, Timothy Ole Tanchut told the men he “…[had] concrete proof that you attacked a vessel in the high seas and I order you to serve five years in prison,” ruling that they will be deported to Somalia after serving their sentences. They have been in custody since May 7 last year when a Spanish crew captured them coming to the aid of the Anny Petrakis. The arrests followed warning shots fired by a naval helicopter.

This is the third pirate gang jailed in the last two years, bringing the total serving sentences in Kenya to around 15; around 100 suspects await trial in custody. Trials have been difficult to arrange owing to issues around finding locations; Kenya has international agreements with the EU, the United States and Denmark, as well as a separate treaty with EU-state the United Kingdom. These allow Kenya to try pirates like these ones handed over by Spain in exchange for support of the nation’s judicial system. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the European Union, Australia and Canada have all chipped in with donations to fund the court.



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July 27, 2010

Seychelles sentences Somali pirates to ten years in prison

Filed under: Africa,Archived,Crime and law,Piracy,Somalia — admin @ 5:00 am

Seychelles sentences Somali pirates to ten years in prison

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

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Location of Seychelles.

The Republic of Seychelles has convicted eight men of piracy and three others for aiding and abetting piracy. All eleven men each received a ten year sentence in jail. Four of the convicted were under eighteen years of age.

The office of President James Michel states this ruling is in response to a hijack attempt on a Seychelles coast guard ship.

This ruling by Seychelles’ Supreme Court in Victoria is the first time the state has convicted Somali pirates.

Seychelles set up a court for the sole purpose of trying Somali pirates earlier this year, in response to hijackings of ships in Seychellois waters.

A Seychellois government statement said that “[t]heir conviction is a historical milestone as it is the first time that a piracy trial is successfully prosecuted in the Seychelles.”

Pirates attacked ships more than 200 times in 2009, including 68 hijackings, and made around US$50 million (38.5 million) in ransoms.

Seychelles and Kenya are the only African countries on the coast of the Indian Ocean with signed agreements with the European Union to prosecute Somali pirates.



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May 6, 2010

Russian forces storm oil tanker seized by Somali pirates, crew freed

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Russian forces storm oil tanker seized by Somali pirates, crew freed

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

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Russian special forces aboard the Marshal Shaposhnikov warship have stormed an oil tanker that was recently seized by Somali pirates.

The forces boarded the Moscow University ship, where they freed the 23 crew members, who had been hiding in a secure room in the ship after disabling the vessel’s motor. There was a shootout between pirates and special forces, in which one pirate was killed. Ten other pirates were taken into custody.

“Pirates have released the tanker […] All crew on board the tanker are alive and well,” said a spokeswoman for the tanker’s owner Novoship. The company said the decision to take the ship over by force was made because “the crew was under safe cover inaccessible to the pirates”. The Moscow University is carrying 86,000 tons of crude oil, valued at US$50 million.

Pirates currently are holding over 300 hostages and twenty vessels in various locations around Somalia; international warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden have been unable to entirely halt the hijacking of ships.



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April 24, 2010

US indicts eleven alleged pirates from Somalia

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US indicts eleven alleged pirates from Somalia

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

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Eleven suspected Somali pirates have been indicted in the US in connection with recent attacks on two US navy ships off the coast of Africa.

The men were brought to a courthouse in Virginia on Friday, to face piracy charges after being detained on US ships as the cases against them were being prepared.

A first group of five suspected pirates was indicted in connection with what authorities say was a firefight on March 31st between the USS Nicholas and their vessel in the Indian Ocean.

The six other defendants were charged with an alleged April 10th attack on the USS Ashland in the Gulf of Aden near Djibouti. If convicted, they will face life in prison.

Until recently, pirates detained in international operations off the African coast were generally tried in Kenya. Kenyan authorities, however, recently indicated they needed more international financial help for this; Voice of America reports that Kenyan courts are becoming overloaded with piracy cases.



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March 25, 2010

Private guard kills Somali pirate in Gulf of Aden

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Private guard kills Somali pirate in Gulf of Aden

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

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A private security guard, defending the Panamanian based MV Almezaan, killed a Somali pirate who was attempting to hijack the ship on Tuesday. This is the first time that a private contractor has killed a pirate in the Gulf of Aden.

The pirates came up to the ship with two small vessels and one large “mother-ship”. As the small boats approached the Almezaan, the ship’s contractors opened fire, and killed one of the pirates. Then European Union and Yemeni naval vessels surrounded the pirates, who attempted to flee. They were then apprehended.

The EU’s Naval Force Somalia released a statement saying that “[t]he body has been transferred to [the Spanish naval ship] Navarra, an investigation indicated that the individual had died from small caliber gunshot wounds.”

The incident came after pirates captured Turkish and Bermudan ships earlier Tuesday, capturing a total of 46 people.



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March 6, 2010

Somali pirates seize tanker off coast of Madagascar

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Somali pirates seize tanker off coast of Madagascar

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

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Somali pirates seized the Norwegian chemical tanker UBT Ocean off the coast of Madagascar yesterday, according to reports.

The Norwegian News Agency reports that the ship, which is Marshall Islands-flagged, has 21 crew members aboard.

Svenn Pedersen of the ship’s owner, Broevigtank, said yesterday that “[t]he captain of the ship called us early this morning and told us: We have pirates on board. Very quickly afterwards we lost all contact with the boat.” Pedersen commented that the tanker had taken a route to the south of where Somali pirates are usually active.

A spokesman for Nautictank, the ship’s operator, commented that “[w]e are doing everything we can to establish contact and our sole concern right now is the safety of our crew. We have no contact whatsoever with the vessel, or the master, or the pirates.”

The UBT Ocean was en route to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania from its departure port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

The waters off the coast of Somalia and the Indian Ocean are patrolled by an internationally operated naval force; however, it has not been able to entirely prevent pirate hijackings. Two days ago, pirates took a Saudi tanker from its position in the Gulf of Aden and sailed it to Garacad, Somalia.



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February 1, 2010

Kidnapped British couple \”need urgent help\”

Kidnapped British couple “need urgent help”

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The coast of Somalia is one of the most dangerous bodies of water in the world.

Somalia
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Monday, February 1, 2010

A British couple kidnapped by Somali pirates last October require urgent help, according to AFP. Rachel and Paul Chandler, who were sailing to Tanzania from the Seychelles in their yacht when they were captured by pirates, told an AFP reporter that they did “are being badly treated”. The photographer for the news agency was accompanying a surgeon, Mohamed Helmi Hangul, who was permitted to visit the couple briefly on Thursday.

The couple have been separated from each other, and are suffering signs of stress. The wife is suffering from insomnia and is “mentally unwell” and “disorientated”. “I’m old, I’m 56 and my husband is 60 years old. We need to be together because we have not much time left,” she said.

The pirates responsible have threatened to execute the couple if their demands for a $7m ransom are not met. However, the British Foreign Office say that they will not pay any ransoms or “substantial concessions” to pirates. In a statement, the British Foreign Office said that they “remain in regular contact with the family and are providing support”. They are calling for the “safe and swift release” of the couple.



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January 23, 2010

Somali pirates threaten to kill British hostages in days

Filed under: Africa,Crime and law,Europe,Piracy,Somalia,United Kingdom — admin @ 5:00 am

Somali pirates threaten to kill British hostages in days

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

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Location of the Gulf of Aden.

A middle-aged British couple who have been held hostage by Somali pirates for more than three months said on Friday, in a telephone interview with ITN, that their captors have threatened to kill one or both of them if a government ransom is not received “within four or five days.”

Paul and Rachel Chandler disappeared on October 23, 2009, while in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia while en route from the Seychelles to Tanzania. Their 38-foot yacht, the Lynn Rival, was later found abandoned. Days later, pirates confirmed they were in fact holding the couple hostage within Somalia’s borders.

A spokeswoman for the British Foreign Office told media in a statement on Friday that the government’s policy was to not “make or facilitate concessions to hostage-takers.” She added, the Office is, however, still closely “monitoring the situation” and “doing everything it can” to secure the couple’s safe release.

The Chandlers’ captors have demanded a ransom payment of US$7 million (£4.3 million), but the British government has refused to pay it, in line with their policy.

On Friday, the pirates granted the Chandlers separate telephone interviews with UK-based media outlet ITN. According to the interviews, the couple pleaded for help and alleged that they have been “physically attacked,” separated and “treated as a captive animal” in solitary confinement at the hands of their captors.

Rachel Chandler told ITN that “dying would actually be an easy way out” and how she wanted to see her husband “at least once before we die.”

The validity of these threats are not known. According to The Hindu, pirates often make empty threats of execution, but rarely harm the captives.

Piracy is especially rife in the waters near Somalia, a nation, due to an ongoing civil war, that has not had a functioning government in place since 1991. Islamic extremist groups, such as al-Shabaab, as well as various warlords and pirate gangs control most of the nation. The only exception is the besieged capital of Mogadishu, which is protected primarily by UN peace-keepers and other foreign troops.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, there were 406 reported pirate attacks worldwide in 2009, compared to approximately 290 the year before. During both years, more than 50% of these incidents occurred off the coast of the Horn of Africa.



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