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Author Topic: Somali piracy threathens trade  (Read 2250 times)

Somali piracy threathens trade
« on: October 02, 2008, 02:44:40 AM »
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20081002/t ... b2fc3.html


NAIROBI (AFP) - - World trade faces major disruption if Somali piracy is unchecked and allowed to be co-opted by extremists and maritime routes could be gradually diverted, a report released on Thursday said.

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London-based think tank Chatham House warned in a briefing paper that the international community needed to take swift action as pirates were rapidly improving their equipment and modus operandi.

Around 60 ships have been attacked so far this year alone. The danger has caused insurance premiums to rise tenfold in a year.

"If the cost of extra insurance becomes prohibitive, or the danger simply too great, shipping companies may avoid the Gulf of Aden and take the long route to Europe and North America around the Cape of Good Hope," it said.

"The extra weeks of travel and fuel consumption would add considerably to the cost of transporting goods" at a time when the price of oil is already putting the squeeze on world trade, Chatham House said.

The Gulf of Aden commands access to the southern entrance of the Suez Canal and is one of the world's most important trade routes. Some 16,000 ships and around 30 percent of the world's oil transits through it each year.

The briefing paper also warned that the threat of a major environmental disaster resulting from an attack by increasingly brazen pirates should be considered.

Pirates took pot shots at a Japanese oil tanker in April, piercing the vessel fuel tanks and causing a minor spill.

"The other worst-case scenario is that pirates become agents of international terrorism," the study said, stressing that previous occurrences of seaborne terrorism in the region should act as an alarm bell.

Chatham House also argued that the ransom collected by pirates was likely used to fuel the war in Somalia and was routed to the Shebab, a hardline Islamist militia listed as a terrorist organisation by Washington.

The think tank nevertheless admitted there was no evidence that the Shebab were directly involved in piracy and even pointed out that the last time Somalia's waters were safe was when the Islamists ruled the country.

"Pirates are no longer simply opportunists; their operations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are likely to continue developing in this direction if responses do not change," the report said.

Pirates last week attracted the world's attention when they seized a cargo of battle tanks headed for Kenya and Chatham House warned it was only a matter of time before a hostage was executed.

It said that ship owners were often left with no other option than to pay the ransom even though they themselves recognise that complying with the pirates' demands risked exacerbating the situation.

France has carried out raids to capture pirates following the hijacking of French ships but the international community's response has on the whole been undecisive.

Chatham House suggested a number of options the international community should explore urgently to stem piracy.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: Somali piracy threathens trade
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008, 05:24:59 PM »
When caravans got attacked, they hired guards.

In times of war, cargo ships sometimes had military escorts

If this pirating is getting out of control, then it would seem to be time for the shipping companies to take a lesson from them.  Hire some guards, install some turrets on the ships, and possibly add some escort gunboats to help patrol their perimeters.  If an unfriendly boat approaches, sink it.  Problem solved.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: Somali piracy threathens trade
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2008, 09:41:58 AM »
Naval laws are not as simply as land ones. You cannot show weapons mounted or otherwise when sailing into port. If you have mounted turrets, you may be refused port entry. Every state with its own soviergn navy will have zero space for hired man-o-war not belonging to another country.

And these Somalis are ex coastguards with sophiscated weaponry and training. No merchant ship tactics can easily outwit them. Moreover, these guys have fast and small craft in narrow, operating in narrow straits. Big clumsy merchant ships are mostly sitting ducks with little room to manouver. And it seems these guys have shore support.

Usual merchant ship tactics include splashing HOT water down the shipside in a constant stream at night. Pirate usually board from the rear, and at night. Also assigned crew with rifles at the aft (rear) of the ship at night.

Merchant ship crew themselves are divided along nationalities, mostly. The Captain carries a pistol with him at all times. Any donkey who tries a mutiny, gets the sea as his coffin.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Re: Somali piracy threathens trade
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2008, 10:01:16 AM »
From what I've been reading, a security team onboard would certainly do the trick. Take for example when some pirates though they were gonna score on a USNS ship. Perhaps they didn't realise it was a USNS ship, or perhaps didn't think they would respond as they had. When the skiffs came up on them, the USNS took evasive maneuvers, fired pencil flares to warn off the approaching pirates. When they didn't divert, the USNS broke out the security team & fired warning shots. The results, pirates gave up & turned tail.

It didn't take turrets or gun mounts, but it did take firing shots, posting a clear message that the USNS wasn't afraid to defend itself. They had presented themselves as a hard targfet & it was proven very successful.

These vessels passing through areas were pirating exist need to aquire security teams. I certainly don't see any excuse not to have one.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Re: Somali piracy threathens trade
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2008, 09:45:45 PM »
Last October, the Somalis boarded a North Korean merchant ship. I was on military recall. We received an SOS from the North Korean ship, saying the Captain has been shot in the left leg.

10 min later, the North Korean ship sent fresh radio message. The pirates were subdued and 7 of them were taken prisoner. We do not suspect these 7 will be slaughtered at sea and bodies dumped.

These guys must be idiots to try a North Korean ship. North Korea has no "merchant" ships. They are all manned by military personnels in civilian clothing.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Re: Somali piracy threathens trade
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2008, 03:05:09 AM »
Quote from: "Chronical Song"
These guys must be idiots to try a North Korean ship. North Korea has no "merchant" ships. They are all manned by military personnels in civilian clothing.
LOL. pwned
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: Somali piracy threathens trade
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2008, 04:58:33 PM »
That leads me to another trick the merchants could use.  They could have what appears to be a wealthy merchant vessel drift into pirate waters, and then when the pirates try to board it, they suddenly realize it's a trap; the ship is actually manned by skilled and heavily armed troops.  It's kind of like a venus flytrap; the pirates get lured in, and then *SNAP*!!!    Also if they never get to escape, they won't get a chance to go and warn their pirate buddies about the danger, so several other bands of pirates can get similarly captured.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: Somali piracy threathens trade
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2008, 11:40:44 PM »
And who is gonna be paying for it?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Re: Somali piracy threathens trade
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2008, 04:51:54 AM »
Now that would be pretty sweet, though sadly we'd never hear about it. It would be listed as the best stories never told. I could see a SEAL team doing that one. snatch up a band of pirates, sink their skiffs, set up for the next...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Re: Somali piracy threathens trade
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2008, 06:23:30 AM »
Quote from: "Chronical Song"
And who is gonna be paying for it?
Under simulation budget?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: Somali piracy threathens trade
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2008, 10:53:43 AM »
Quote from: "Chronical Song"
And who is gonna be paying for it?
Potentially, several merchant fleets could get together and chip in a small amount toward funding it.  Alternately, the govt of one of the nations being affected could send a ship with some of their forces to patrol/trap for a while.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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