Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Somali Pirates: Trained by Pakistan to fight India?

The Times of India has this odd report: India finds proof of Pakistan training Somali pirates:
The evidence was obtained from nine foreign nationals caught from a hijacked Iranian vessel - MV Nafis-1, by the Indian Navy off Mumbai on August 14.

The vessel was brought to Porbandar on August 15 and those arrested - five Yemenis, two Tanzanians, one Kenyan and one Somali national - were handed over to Porbandar police.

Gujarat customs officials had seized a large quantity of food items from the vessel and also found rice packets and juice pouches bearing names of Pakistani companies. Gujarat customs officials also recovered two AK-47s, a pistol and a cache of foreign currency including $86,000 and 1,500 Saudi Riyal.

Officials seized bags full of tea leaves, which customs officials believe, were chewed by the pirates to stay awake.

"The guns have no label but the food items are packed and manufactured in Pakistan. Smugglers are notgenerally found carrying such a large amount of foreign currency," said a senior customs official.
Hmm. Lots of questions here. Is this real? True "Somali pirates"? Or Pakistani contracted foreign agents using a cover of being "Somali pirates" to carry out some nefarious scheme against India? And, does Iran have a role in this or was the MV Nafis-1 really hijacked?

Or what?

Just to fill in a little background, read this report on the Indian Navy capture of the MV Nafis-1 back in mid-August:
The Indian Navy today foiled a piracy attack after it rescued merchant vessel MV Nafis-1, approximately 170 nautical miles west of Mumbai.

The Iranian-flagged vessel had been located by the Navy's Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft on August 12, which thereafter kept it under continuous surveillance.

INS Mysore, a guided missile destroyer, was dispatched to intercept the vessel with two helicopters as well as 24 of the Navy's elite Marine Commandos (MARCOS). The MARCOS carried out a thorough investigation and found two AK-47 rifles and a pistol concealed in an empty fuel tank.

MV Nafis-1 had reportedly sailed from Chah Bahar in Iran to an undisclosed location in July.

Intelligence received by the Indian Navy had indicated that the vessel could have been employed for smuggling or other nefarious activities. Inputs suggest that the vessel was likely to be carrying arms and ammunition, as well as other contraband.
I'm sure this all makes sense. Two AK-47s and a pistol makes for a lightly armed invasion force, though.

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