The Penalties for Piracy

Oceans Beyond Piracy project released last month a discussion paper on the penalties imposed by prosecuting nations on arrested pirates. According to the study, ten nations on four continents have convicted Somalis who were involved in piracy and armed robbery at sea which began in 2008, and at least six other nations have cases pending. Any nation can arrest suspected pirates on the high seas yet international law defines only the crime and not the penalty to be imposed upon the accused individual.

[Read more…]

Germany Regulates PMSCs

Sea piracy off the coast of Somalia has dropped dramatically, in part as the result of private security forces accompanying the ships. The German government now wants to regulate their certification.

The German Cabinet has agreed on legislation to introduce a licensing procedure for security companies on board ships. The draft bill determines which requirements these firms have to fulfill if they are protecting German-registered vessels. The government coordinator for the maritime industry, Hans-Joachim Otto, welcomed the decision.

“We want reliable, well-trained security teams, not desperados and mercenaries,” Otto said on Wednesday. Beginning in mid-2013, only licensed companies will be allowed to take over security on German ships.

[Read more…]

Ex Pirates Hostages Sue Employers

Two seamen claim in Federal Court that Somali pirates held them hostage for eight months after their employers sent them into pirate-infested waters without adequate security.      Bahri Chirag and Dangwal Sandeep sued Marida Tankers, Heidmar Inc., MT Marida Marguerite Schifffahrts and Ship Owner / Ship Employer on six claims, including negligence, unseaworthiness, and emotional distress.

[Read more…]

Monthly Piracy Report June 2012

All information presented below are retrieved from ICC Commercial Crime Services (CCS) and are being updated on a monthly basis. For up to date live and accurate information please refer to ICC Commercial Crime Services (CCS) website.

  • Total Attacks Worldwide: 168
  • Total Hijackings Worldwide: 19
  • Total Incidents in Somalia: 67
  • Total Hijackings in Somalia: 13
  • Total Hostages in Somalia: 195
  • Vessels held by Somali Pirates: 13
  • Hostages held by Somali Pirates: 185

Somali Hostage Negotiator Found Guilty Of All Counts

Mohammad Saaili Shibin, 50, of Somalia, was convicted on April by a federal jury in Norfolk, for his involvement in the pirating of an American yacht, the S/V Quest, and taking hostage four U.S. citizens, who were ultimately killed before their release could be secured. He was also convicted for the pirating of the M/V Marida Marguerite. Shibin is scheduled to be sentenced on August 13, 2012.

[Read more…]

Monthly Piracy Report May 2012

All information presented below are retrieved from ICC Commercial Crime Services (CCS) and are being updated on a monthly basis. For up to date live and accurate information please refer to ICC Commercial Crime Services (CCS) website.

  • Total Attacks Worldwide: 145
  • Total Hijackings Worldwide: 17
  • Total Incidents in Somalia: 59
  • Total Hijackings in Somalia: 12
  • Total Hostages in Somalia: 188
  • Vessels held by Somali Pirates: 13
  • Hostages held by Somali Pirates: 200

Captain Spent 3 Months as Hostage of Pirates

Capt. Miro Alibasic from Croatia was en route to Oman aboard his crude-oil tanker Zirku. As they passed through the notorious Gulf of Aden, every sailor’s nightmare since antiquity materialized before his eyes-pirates were attacking his ship from all directions. Around 50 heavily armed Somalis in small skiffs, dispatched from a mother ship, surrounded the supertanker, attempting to board.

“I was trying to avoid it by zigzagging and using water canons. But once I lost speed, they hooked me. … There was nothing I could do,” recalls Alibasic.

The pirates boarded the ship and ordered Alibasic and his 34-man crew to kneel down. Alibasic refused and asked the pirates to put down their guns and invited them to come on board to talk.

[Read more…]

Guidance for PMSC Agreed by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee

Interim guidance to private maritime security companies (PMSCs) was agreed by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), when it met at the Organization’s London Headquarters for its 90th session from 16 to 25 May 2012.

A special high-level segment of the MSC saw an intense debate, on how the international community should deal with issues related to the deployment of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) on board ships and the carriage of arms on board.]

[Read more…]

Pirates of Somalia