Good Company

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Somali pirates demand $1.5 million (U.S.) for capive Danish ship

Somali pirates demand $1.5 million (U.S.) for captive Danish ship, as set out here:
The Danica White, with five crew members, was hijacked on June 2, about 240 nautical miles off the Somali coast while heading to Kenya's Mombasa port.

"We were informed yesterday that the pirates are demanding $US1.5 million in order to release the vessel," said Kenyan official Andrew Mwangura.

Three other vessels – one from Taiwan and two from South Korea – are also currently held by pirates off the coast of war-torn Somalia and a Panama-flagged cargo vessel was recently reported to have gone missing in Somali waters.
Some other information on ships missing in the Indian Ocean, not all of it accurate, here (that's "Gross Registered Tonnage", not "Growth") with a possible sad note:
Mwangura also said the owners of the MV Infinity Marine One, which flies a Panamanian flag, were last in touch with the vessel on June 26.

He said the floating debris of the vessel which was headed for Somalia's main port of Mogadishu from United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been spotted northeast of Somalia.

"Floating debris have been spotted northeast of Somalia where the Panama flagged cargo ship MV Infinity Marine 1 released a distress signal on 26th June prior to her disappearance indicating that she was taking in water," Mwangura said.
Previous posts on Danica White here, here, here, here, and here.

Useful post from Strategy Page here, pointing out that Somali war lords have turned "disaster relief" into a business, but leaving out the money being made by pirates who capture UN World Food Program ships and hold them fo ransom, depriving their fellow Somalis of aid from sea...
What the "aid community" has lost sight of is the fact that the idea that the UN was supposed to be "impartial" was not part of the original UN concept. The original idea was that the Great Powers (the West) would use the UN to maintain order. But since the Great Powers couldn't get along, the UN evolved its own ways. The aid community, and all those NGOs that appeared in the last half century, through they were above politics. Now they have received a reality check, and they don't like it at all.
See this ReliefWeb sitrep:
Due to the high number of road blocks, travel time between Kismayo and Buale now takes up to six days, while the same distance used to be covered within a day and a half. The estimated passage fee per truck to be paid through checkpoints and roadblocks for the entire trip is now close to $400.
Access by sea remains hampered by piracy. Reportedly another commercial cargo vessel was reported missing on 15 July in the Somali waters, totaling the number of missing / pirated vessels to five. On 16 July, the executive director of WFP and the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) appealed for more-effective action to enforce order off Somalia's coast after the World Food Program lost half its capacity to ship aid to the country because of pirate attacks. They called on the TFG to allow foreign warships into its waters to combat the threat. The pirates appear to have changed tactics and are now operating mainly in Somalia waters to remain out of reach of the international forces.

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