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Indiaexportnews.com

Somali piracy smoulders

  17.02.2016    

The German Shipowners' Association (VDR) warns the threat to shipping from pirates off the Horn of Africa has not been eliminated, according to Shipping Gazette.
"The threat posed by piracy at the Horn of Africa is like a smouldering fire," said VDR chief executive Ralf Nagel, reports London's Tanker Operator.
"The presence of naval forces in the Gulf of Aden and the surveillance operations from the air are depriving the criminals in Somalia of oxygen," he said.
"But the moment this protection is lowered, allowing fresh oxygen near the source of the fire, the flames will flare up quickly," he said.
There were no abductions of seafarers by pirates in the last three years. The reason for this lies in the deployment of the navy, and the preventive measures taken on board ships, he said.
Mr Nagel pointed to the deterrent effect resulting from the presence of private armed guards.
But some 29 Asian seafarers are still being held captive by hostage-takers in Somalia, the report said.
The number of pirate attacks carried out worldwide remained high in 2015, with 246 recorded incidents (2014: 245). One seafarer was killed, while 14 others sustained injuries. The number of crew abducted after a raid of their ships and taken ashore doubled, from nine to 19.
The hostage-takings as well as the killing of the seafarer took place in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Nigeria and Ghana.
The region does not enjoy the benefits of naval protection and coast guards of the neighbouring states. Moreover, shipping companies are not allowed to protect their vessels using their own security forces, as it is illegal in this part of the world, the VDR said.



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