Piracy & Ship Attacks--March 11, 2010
Latest reports on pirates and ship seizures.
• Tanker Seized off Madagascar
Somali pirates captured a Norwegian chemical tanker off the coast of Madagascar with 21 crew aboard last Friday. The tanker had sailed into the south where pirates are active.
The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker, UBT Ocean was sailing from Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates to Dar es Salaan in Tanzania when pirates attacked. The captain called the ship's owner, Broevigtank and reported the pirates had boarded. Quickly after the call, the owner lost contact with the vessel.
Nautictank, the ship's operator is actively attempting to make contact with the vessel and crew, making sure they are safe, but as of press time they have not been successful.
• Convicted Pirates Get 20-Year Prison Sentence
Eight Somali suspects were sentenced to 20 years in prison after a court in Mombasa, Kenya found them guilty of piracy.
The suspects were arrested by the British navy and handed over to Kenyan authorities after they allegedly attempted to hijack the Danish vessel MV Powerful in the Gulf of Aden in 2008.
The suspects' defense council argued that it would appeal against the judgment, and suggested the magistrate had no jurisdiction over the case. The council also claimed that the suspects to be held in prison any longer would be a burden on taxpayers.
However, Kenya has signed international agreements with the United States, the European Union, Britain and others to prosecute pirates on behalf of foreign countries and to deliver prison sentences to pirate suspects.