Ukrainian Citizen Charged as Country’s First Modern-Day Sea Pirate

Ukrainian charged as sea pirate after hijacking ship
Cash found during the raid (SBU photo)

Published Jul 23, 2021 3:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reports that it has detained a Ukrainian citizen on charges of sea piracy, making him the first citizen to be brought up on charges of being a modern-day pirate. The unnamed male suspect was captured by the SBU after returning to Ukraine and attempting to hide his identity.

The strange story begins when the man was assigned to work as a security guard aboard a vessel sailing in the Indian Ocean. He was employed by an international security firm that contracted with the ship’s owner to provide security while sailing in dangerous regions of the globe.

However, instead of performing his duties as a security guard, the Ukrainian authorities reported that he took a gun from his employer’s office on the vessel and seized the ship. He held the captain of the unnamed vessel at gunpoint and demanded $500,000. He ordered the crew to alter course.

Negotiations ensued over the next four days before representatives of the shipping company were able to persuade the individual to surrender his weapon. They reportedly paid the individual $6,000 to release the captain and permit the vessel to proceed on its route.

Technology found on the suspect during the raid along with a large amount of US currency (SBU photos)


The story, however, does not end there. Unsatisfied with the solution, the individual then seized additional weapons from the office on the ship and threatened to throw the security company’s property overboard unless he was given $100,000. The company reportedly refused to pay and the man began throwing things overboard before he was overpowered by the crew.

Apparently from the reports of the SBU, the man was not detained because the events happened in international waters and after leaving the vessel, he made his way back to Ukraine. The security forces said after arriving in his homeland he changed his passports and place of residence serval times using an alias and fake papers.

The SBU apprehended the man in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Mykolaiv during a “special operation.” The police displayed some of the technology and cash found during the raid. He was taken into custody and is being brought before a court on charges of using violence, robbery, or other hostile actions against the crew of a seagoing vessel. An investigation is being conducted by SBU investigators working along with the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.