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Piracy Somalia

This is a discussion on Piracy Somalia within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by HKP Armed guards should be armed not only with automatic weapons but with grenade launchers and sniper ...


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Old January 4th, 2011   #16
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Armed guards should be armed not only with automatic weapons but with grenade launchers and sniper rifles to knock down an ID pirate small crafts. If larger vessels then the shooting of the pirate ship can be a delaying action until reinforcements from any navy arrives.
I know of a number of companies whos teams deploy with 50cal LR AM weapons. This restricts them to working in international waters as coming within an EEZ could make them subject to common law pursuit on the nature of the weapons employed. ie it becomes an issue of whether those weapons can be defended as reasonable force to defend etc.....

I know of instances where the high powered weapons have been bagged and slung over the side via fishing line as soon as they enter national waters - but they run the risk of common law charges in the port of entry by the host nation.

current SOP (depending on team size and the location) is to man the stern and bow and have rovers in the middle. as soon as boats start circling then defensive postures are elevated to potential reaction stances.

my daughter spent a few years doing maritime security, was certified on LRAD, was shot at and fired her own shots back in anger, so I have some first hand knowledge of what has happened out at sea.

one company in the PACRIM employs ex-Ghurkas, their "team leaders" are usually ex RM or people with active and actual "real" working experience in VBSS.
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Old January 4th, 2011   #17
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Mid last year we came across a PMC boat that was escorting a sail vessel through the Gulf of Aden, our understanding was they were armed and operating out of Djbouti for escort contracts for private vessels that cannot keep up with merchant convoys.
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Old January 4th, 2011   #18
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when a ship with armed guards pull into port. then they just do their normal function as securing the ship
That also applies when you let a mothership loaded with armed pirates on board claiming they are just armed guards, only their normal function is board and overpower other ships, and now you have no laws in place to force them to disarm. Read the reports the Life Piracy Report at ICC Commercial Crime Services, more piracy takes place in anchorages than at sea.
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actually at this point everybody is on the lookout, 24/7 until the ship reach the port
Then why in almost every successful piracy attack are the pirates already on board before the alarm is raised?
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Any suspicious ship or light craft closing jin should be considered possible pirates and once identified can be fired upon even before getting to close to the ship, these will prevent attacks by the pirates.
When everyone has armed guards on board how do you tell the difference between pirates and a fellow legitimate traveler? Especially in a tightly packed anchorage. How many blue-on-blue accidents can we tolerate.
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Just as I wrote, all governments should change their laws and allow ships with armed guards enter their territory as long as those weapons are locked up securely with guard duty 24/7 while on port and all IDs of armed guards and weapons accounted for by the host country's authorities.
Securing the weapons just means that the weapons will not be available in time to prevent the pirates from getting on board and taking hostages. As for the IDs, no country in the world can guarantee a passports issued in their name is legit, so what makes think that IDs issued by corrupt 3rd world countries will do any good?

The reason that the laws against weapons on merchant vessels were originally adopted was so that the presence of weapons could be considered cause to treat the vessel as a suspected pirate. That is why when pirates see a warship bearing down the first thing they do is ditch their weapons. Undo that and life could get easier for the pirates, not harder, because the only way to tell who is a real pirate would be to catch them in the act.

The other problem is that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) eliminated universal jurisdiction in piracy cases, along with the interpretations of human rights laws by various countries makes prosecution impossible.
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Old January 13th, 2011   #19
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So what do you do when a ship with a large crew of heavily armed ‘guards’ pulls into port? What do you tell people when it launches raiding parties that take over nearby ships? Look up the historic term “cutting out expedition”. This was a fairly common naval and pirating technique for most of recorded history.

What most vessels need is more and better lookouts, communications, and a safe room. Spot pirates before they can get close enough to attack and a vessel can usually defeat them with just an increase in speed and erratic maneuvers while calling for help. But, if you do not spot the pirates in time to keep them from boarding, guards are likely to get crew members killed in the crossfire or revenge, or if the surprise is complete the guards weapons just become part of the ‘booty’ and the guards themselves additional ransoms.

As for the pirates themselves, what is needed is to reestablish the status of piracy as hostis humani generis (Latin for "enemy of mankind") and give formal naval units the necessary legal tools to carry out arrests regardless of jurisdiction or nationality of the victims, followed by a rapid trial and punishment (execution) at sea.

The later part, quick punishment at sea, is particularly important to prevent a process of hostage taking and exchange for captured pirates from being instituted.
Given that Somalia's new head of state has asked that the US and other western nations not give up on his country, one wonders whether this might not mean an opportunity to up the ante where Somali pirates are concerned.
The question is, though, whether the Somali government's authority is ever going to extend beyond Mogadishu without some really heavy-duty assistance from the nations appealed to. One also wonders what Bill Clinton's reaction might be to this recent request. Just askin'.
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Old January 14th, 2011   #20
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Given that Somalia's new head of state has asked that the US and other western nations not give up on his country, one wonders whether this might not mean an opportunity to up the ante where Somali pirates are concerned.
It means that he does not want the US and others to stop sending money until he has stolen enough to pay off his political debts and retire in the lifestyle to which he wants to be accustomed.
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The question is, though, whether the Somali government's authority is ever going to extend beyond Mogadishu without some really heavy-duty assistance from the nations appealed to. One also wonders what Bill Clinton's reaction might be to this recent request. Just askin'.
Actually, the question is if the Somali government's authority is ever going to extend to all of Mogadishu. The main problem appears to be that the troops keep leaving when their pay never arrives, then they ask for more money to recruit and train another set of troops to replace the ones who ‘deserted’. You would expect the behavior to be suicidal, except that the Somali opposition to the government appears to have the same problem.
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Old January 14th, 2011   #21
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Only fool & fish at sea?

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The burden of the cost for security should be for all from the owner of the vessel, receiver, sender and insurer. they should all chip in and that will make it affordable for them and then they can pass it to the consumer if they want to. As for the changing of the territorial laws for the presence of armed guards on board, the shipping association and chamber of commerce can all team up and lobby to the government to allow this.

Based on my observation/experienced what you mentioned absolutely correct.

The victims always innocent seafarers who sacrifices a lot working onboard hoping for just a little bit better for living condition and for their beloved family.
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Old January 14th, 2011   #22
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It means that he does not want the US and others to stop sending money until he has stolen enough to pay off his political debts and retire in the lifestyle to which he wants to be accustomed.

Actually, the question is if the Somali government's authority is ever going to extend to all of Mogadishu. The main problem appears to be that the troops keep leaving when their pay never arrives, then they ask for more money to recruit and train another set of troops to replace the ones who ‘deserted’. You would expect the behavior to be suicidal, except that the Somali opposition to the government appears to have the same problem.
Given that your comments on the Somsali government are corrrect (under past and possibly present review), the question may well be does this new guy on the block mean anyhing useful by his recent statement, and, if so, will he be able to deliver co-operation and the kind of muscle that such co-operation will demand?

To say that Somalia is a failed state is about as close as one can get to a perfect understatement. However, it has to become "unfailed" ("successful" would be an overstatement) if only to allow for the rigorous correction of the piracy situation.

Quite apart from the piracy matter and other festering corruption issues--and Qaeda's "interests"--a number of feet have to come down hard and soon. Can that happen in co-operation with the new guy at the helm?
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Old January 14th, 2011   #23
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The burden of the cost for security should be for all from the owner of the vessel, receiver, sender and insurer. they should all chip in and that will make it affordable for them and then they can pass it to the consumer if they want to. As for the changing of the territorial laws for the presence of armed guards on board, the shipping association and chamber of commerce can all team up and lobby to the government to allow this.
The insurer is basically a bookie you place a bet with about future events. They calculate the money that they will have to pay out if they have to pay off and the probability that the event will take place to generate a price you will have to pay to place that bet. That is what insurance is.

The ship owner buys insurance and then passes the cost on the shipper, who passes it on the sender (who will in turn pass it on the receiver) or receiver. In the end the receiver is always the one who pays, even when it does not appear as a line item on the bill. Most receivers insist on insurance coverage to guarantee delivery.

The presence or absences of security forces will be dictated by the split between the insurance cost with and without them present. If the presence of a security detail causes the insurance to cost less than the cost of providing the security detail, then all vessels will have security details. If you want to increase the use of security details the best way is to either allow insurance costs to rise, or prohibit the insurance companies from selling policies to vessels without security teams.
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Old January 21st, 2011   #24
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On 20 January 2011, the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) foiled a pirate attack on MT Bunga Laurel, a chemical tanker laden with ethylene dichloride and lubricating oil. The chemical tanker, was transiting about 300 nautical miles east of Oman in a journey from the Middle East to Singapore, when men armed with AK-47 rifles on 'skiffs' boarded. The crew of MT Bunga Laurel activated the Ship Security Alert System prior to taking shelter in a 'safe' room. A special forces VBSS team launched from Bunga Mas 5 (a Malaysian auxiliary naval vessel), that was supported by a Fennec helicopter recaptured the chemical tanker and apprehended 7 alleged pirates (3 of the alleged pirates were injured in the fire-fight to recapture the ship). All 23 crew members of MT Bunga Laurel were successfully rescued.

Yonhap News Agency also reports that South Korean naval special forces, supported by a Lynx helicopter successfully rescued 21 seamen and their South Korean-operated cargo ship, Samho Jewelry, that was hijacked last week by Somali pirates. When the operation ended, 21 hostages had been rescued, eight Somali pirates killed and five assailants captured. Pockmarks from artillery fire blanketed the ship's bridge. One of the hostages was wounded, but all were alive — a remarkable ending for a risky rescue. Three South Korean naval special forces members suffered minor injuries and were sent to a hospital in Oman. The South Korean skipper of Samho Jewelry suffered a gunshot wound to his stomach during the operation, but his condition is not life-threatening. The rescue ended a seven-day ordeal for the crew of the 11,500-ton Samho Jewelry, which was hijacked last Saturday in the Arabian Sea when it was en route to Sri Lanka from the United Arab Emirates.

Bravo Zulu, MAF and South Korean naval special forces
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Old January 21st, 2011   #25
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Royal Malaysian Navy commandos save the day

By Adrian David

2011/01/21 - KUALA LUMPUR: There was drama aplenty in the Gulf of Aden when commandos from a Royal Malaysian Navy auxilliary ship stormed and rescued a hijacked Malaysian chemical tanker and its crew from Somali pirates, early yesterday. The Shipborne Protection Team, comprising special forces from the combined Armed Forces tri-services, swung into action from the RMN’s Bunga Mas 5.

Their swift and timely action saved the lives and limbs of the 23 crew. It also salvaged the tanker laden with lubricating oil and ethylene dichloride, all of which is believed to be worth in excess of an estimated RM30 million. Bunga Mas 5’s effort resulted in the capture of seven Somali pirates, three of whom were injured in the ensuing gun battle with the commandos.

Relating the high drama, RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar said MT Bunga Laurel, hired by the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC), was on its way from the gulf to Singapore when it was attacked by the pirates about 300 nautical miles (555km) east of Oman at 11.40pm on Thursday. “The drama unfolded just two hours after the Bunga Mas 5 had completed escorting the tanker and another MISC liquefied natural gas carrier, MT Seri Balhaf, to a safe zone called Easton 4 in the gulf...

Abdul Aziz said under the cover of darkness, seven pirates armed with AK-47 assault rifles, light machine guns and pistols suddenly emerged from a skiff boat and began boarding the tanker, firing at random.

MT Seri Balhaf was spared...

“The alarmed tanker crew activated the Ship Security Alert System before taking cover in a specially-designed security compartment near the vessel’s engine room,” Abdul Aziz said. Responding to the SOS distress signal Bunga Mas 5, which was 14 nautical miles (25.9km) away, sped towards the tanker at 1.20am.

The navy’s Fennec attack helicopter went airborne to provide reconnaissance and aerial gunfire from its mounted general purpose machine gun. “Several shots on target from the helicopter kept the pirate’s mother ship at bay. This preventive measure saved the tanker from serious damage and minimised the risk on its crew.

“Simultaneously, the commandos boarded the tanker and subdued the pirates. It was all over within minutes. There were no injuries on the Malaysians, while the three injured pirates were given first-aid,” said Abdul Aziz.

Following interrogation with the authorities, he confirmed that all seven captured pirates were Somalis who admitted that they had used one of the previously captured vessels as their mother ship. ‘What’s baffling is that they seemed to know our movements, including even the 300-nautical mile extended envelope in the gulf. They are ruthless and their threats are for real,” said Abdul Aziz...

Bunga Mas 5 has a crew of 21 MISC supporting personnel and 39 Shipborne Protection Team members from the Armed Forces, specialising in various trades. There are four teams, inclusive of six special force members, deployed for the two-day escort duty shift in the gulf under Operasi Fajar launched since June 21, 2009. Bunga Mas 5 can escort up to three vessels at a time, including foreign ships as requested by international authorities...

South Korean navy commandos stormed the Samho Jewelrya hijacked by Somali pirates about 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) off northeast Somalia in the Indian Ocean, rescuing all the 21 crew and killing eight pirates...
There's more information in this NST report and the situation was complex. The pirates evidently had good intelligence.
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Old January 21st, 2011   #26
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There's more information in this NST report and the situation was complex. The pirates evidently had good intelligence.
They're sophisticated business models, and its pretty universally known within maritime INT circles that they have inside knowledge - thats why they are reaching further out into less known lanes. they could only attack in these lanes if they knew that vessels were there, as they do have to go out of their range to do so.

these people usually have people in the ports that are on the payroll. they provide transit times, manifests, crew lists etc.... and often can establish how much onboard money may exist depending on ships transit time.
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Old January 21st, 2011   #27
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There's more information in this NST report and the situation was complex. The pirates evidently had good intelligence.
Thanks for all that good stuff, OPSSG. I guess, in both instances, the proverbial foot "came down hard".

To those who insist that alll this is just a case or two of poor fishermen on the beach with no other way of scratching out some sort of living, one can only suggest a re-read of OPSSG's postings and then some quiet consideration of what it takes for indigent fishermen to mount piratical raids of the general nature cited,

The "those" I mention are the significant number who don't touch base with sites like this.
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Old January 21st, 2011   #28
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There's more information in this NST report and the situation was complex. The pirates evidently had good intelligence.
This is the way to go. I congratulate the Malaysian and South Korean commandos for a job well done. But I like the South Korean way, they killed 8 pirates. There is really no purpose of keeping pirates alive and prisoners. they should all be killed. that is the only deterrence. why keep them prisoners then feed them. we ever there is a need for prisoners then should only for interrogation to gather info on their accomplices in ports and other places if any.
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Old January 21st, 2011   #29
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This is the way to go. I congratulate the Malaysian and South Korean commandos for a job well done. But I like the South Korean way, they killed 8 pirates. There is really no purpose of keeping pirates alive and prisoners. they should all be killed. that is the only deterrence. why keep them prisoners then feed them. we ever there is a need for prisoners then should only for interrogation to gather info on their accomplices in ports and other places if any.
The big question is what will happen to the pirates that were captured. Unless there have been other changes those pirates will just be released.
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Old January 21st, 2011   #30
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why keep them prisoners then feed them.
Yes a bullet in the head after capture would have been a more practical solution. Curious if the Somali pirates are high on khat when on 'operations' at sea.
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