INDONESIA: Authorities announced the arrest of 15 "pirate" ships involved in 91 pirate cases during 2004. The most recent arrest is reportedly pirates of the Aziz group which seized the tug (TONGKANG SURYA WIRYA-1) 12 Dec enroute Singapore to Palembang with a cargo of coal, who were arrested near the Riau Islands. Only 4 of 10 pirates were arrested in the 12 Dec incident and the implication is that the leader remains at large. Western Fleet Commander Purnomo blamed an increase demand for barges for smuggling operations for the rise in piracies and further stated that the pirates arrested had no relation to the Free Aceh Movement which has been routinely blamed for many
Indonesian piracy incidents during 2003 and 2004, and whose are of operation is in any event far removed from South Eastern Sumatra.
ONI NOTE: Despite the admirals' claim regarding demand for
barges, the most recent hijackings have featured seizure of tugs,
with or without barges in tow and, generally abandonment of the
barges in favor of kidnap of the tug's senior officers for ransom
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency offers ONI World Wide Threat to Shipping messages. Here's a highlight from a January 5, 2005 message: