国際海事局海賊情報センター（クアラルンプール）によると、ソマリア沖で21日、日本が運航するタンカーが海賊に乗っ取 られた。乗組員は19人で日本人はいないという。現在タンカーとは連絡が取れず、船員の安否などは分かっていない。ソマリア沖は海賊事件の多発地帯で、同 日にはイランのばら積み船も襲われている。
The palm oil-laden tanker MT Bunga Melati 2, owned and operated by MISC Berhad of Malaysia, has 39 crewmen, including 10 Filipino seamen.
Meanwhile, the chemical tanker MT Irene, a Panama-flag and operated by Japan’s Koyo Company, has 19 crewmen including 16 Filipino seamen. Suspected pirates seized the tanker on Thursday. Two other ships were hijacked on the same day.
France's Arkema still awaiting news of hijacked EDC tanker
French vinyls producer
Arkema had received no update Thursday on the fate of Japanese
petrochemical tanker Irene that was carrying a parcel of
ethylene dichloride from France to India when it was hijacked by pirates a
week ago and taken to the Gulf of Eden off the coast of Somalia.
A company source said that Arkema had been in touch with its customer in India to explain the situation, but said "we just do not know what the outcome could be."
The source added that Arkema had received "no update" from the shipping company this week.
Last week an official from Japan's Koyo Kaiun shipping said the hijackers had not made any demands and confirmed it had not been able to gather information on the status of its vessel and crew of 19.
It is understood that the crew was overpowered by 10-15 pirates. The hijackers were not allowing the ship's captain to use his mobile phone or Inmarsat facility.
The vessel had been scheduled to arrive at Kandla in India on August 25 after leaving Fos on August 10.
Koyo Kaiun has a fleet of 14 chemical and product tankers. The Irene, currently chartered by Koyo Kaiun, is owned by Panama-based New Glory Shipping company.
Somali pirates seize Malaysian chemical tanker 'Bunga Melati 5'
Pirates from Somalia hijacked Bunga Melati 5, a chemical tanker owned by Malaysian national carrier MISC on August 29 in the Gulf of Aden (off the cost of Yemen). Bunga Melati 5 is a second vessel of the Malaysian national carrier MISC seized by the pirates in the Gulf of Aden within 10 days. The hijacked ship had a crew of 36 Malaysians and 5 Filipinos on it and was carrying 30,000 metric tons of petrochemicals and on its way to Singapore from Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.
On August 20, a Malaysian palm oil tanker, the Bunga Melati Dua, with 39 crew on board was seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
One day later, three more ships -- German, Iranian and Japanese -- were hijacked off the Somali coast in an unprecedented series of attacks.
Choong said the Bunga Melati 5 was the eighth ship to be hijacked since July 20 in the Gulf of Aden, which lies in the Arabian Sea between Yemen on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula and the north coast of Somalia.
The waters off Somalia are the most pirate-infested in the world, with the IMB reporting 24 attacks -- 19 of which occurred in the Gulf of Aden -- between April and June this year.
September 2, 2008 thestar.com.my
Talks begin over hostages
Tense negotiations have begun for the release of 65 Malaysian crewmen from the hands of notorious and heavily-armed Somali pirates.
The Malaysian International Shipping Corporation Bhd (MISC) is said to have hired a French ship captain, who was seized by the pirates there before, in secretive talks.
A company official confirmed that it has a team in constant contact with the pirates but declined to confirm the ransom demanded.
The pirates are reported to have demanded over RM3mil for the release of each vessel and the talks are said to be “difficult” because they involve another six ships owned by various companies.
Maritime experts revealed that at least four gangs of pirates headed by Somali warlords control the lucrative piracy business in the region and the negotiations could take some time to be completed.
It is also learnt that two Malaysian navy vessels with navy commandos and rations are heading to the Gulf of Aden to help free the crewmen and tankers mt Bunga Melati Dua and mt Bunga Melati Lima.
The vessels would take about a week to reach the pirate-infested region.
According to latest reports, more than 50 gun-toting pirates were using both the MISC-owned vessels as their base for the ransom demand of the eight other hijacked vessels in their den.
They chose the Malaysian tankers because of the halal rations on board.
International Maritime Bureau director Captain Pottengal Mukundan, who is based in London, said the negotiations could take between two to three months before the crewmen could be released.
“It is not a quick fix. The pirates are not interested in the cargo but money,” he said.
He said they had not seen such a surge in pirate activity in the area previously and these pirates were not afraid to use significant firepower to bring vessels under their control.
He said more than 260 seafarers have been taken hostage in the Somalia seas this year alone.
A source said that the Somali Marines ? the most powerful and sophisticated of the pirate groups and one that has a military structure ? is believed to be responsible for the recent hijacks.
Armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, the group has a fleet admiral, vice-admiral and a head of financial operations.
The Somali Marines are said to be loyal to regional warlord Abdi Mohamed Afweyne.
They were responsible for the hostage saga where they held 25 hostages for four months until a sizeable ransom was paid ? said to be more than US$2mil (RM6.8mil) ? on Aug 6, when the hostages were released.
The three other pirate groups are the National Volunteer Coast Guard, Marka group and Puntland Group, all operating off lawless Somalia’s 3,300km coastline.
Somalia has been without a central government since 1991 and does not have the capacity to control pirates or patrol its coastline.
Malaysia seeks release of Pinoys, other crew of hijacked tankers
foreign minister Rais Yatim said the government was taking steps
to secure the release of the crewmen -- with Filipinos among them
-- taken hostage on two
Malaysian tankers in the Gulf of Aden, reports said Monday.
Rais said the piracy menace in the area was under the United Nations' Convention on the Law of the Sea but admitted the convention had "more bark than bite," the New Straits Times quoted him as saying.
The tankers belonging to shipping giant MISC Berhad were hijacked in the notorious Gulf of Aden and remain in the hands of pirates.
The MT Bunga Melati 5 with 41 crew -- 36 Malaysians, five Filipinos -- was seized on Friday off the coast of Yemen, fully laden with 30,000 metric tons of petrochemicals.
Ten days earlier, a palm oil tanker, the Bunga Melati Dua, with 39 crew on board was hijacked off the coast of Somalia. The MISC has reported one death so far -- a Filipino crew member -- who died in an "accident" during the first hijack.
Rais said the foreign ministry was gathering intelligence through diplomatic channels in Somalia and Yemen.
"We found out that the pirates have no interest in dealing with the country, but will deal with the shipowners, which is MISC," he said.
A Malaysian man on board the first hijacked tanker had reportedly made a phone call to his fiancee last Tuesday, claiming that pirates were demanding a ransom of 10 million ringgit (3 million dollars) from MISC.
"His voice sounded different when he told me the pirates asked for 10 million ringgit to release him and other crew members. He sounded nervous," said Nor Hasliza Mat Zin, according to the newspaper.
The Bunga Melati 5 was the eighth ship to be hijacked since July 20 in the Gulf of Aden, which lies in the Arabian Sea between Yemen on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula and the north coast of Somalia.
The waters off Somalia are the most pirate-infested in the world, with the IMB reporting 24 attacks between April and June this year.
Somali pirates free Omani vessel
Somali pirates have released an Omani fishing vessel held for almost eight months near Eyl port in the northern semi-autonomous Puntland region.
One of a group of elders in Eyl who negotiated the release told the BBC that one crew member - the Indonesian engineer - had died while in captivity.
Six other crew members, two Somalis and two Indonesians, were freed, without a ransom being paid, he said.
The seas off Somalia have some of the highest rates of piracy in the world.
Attacks against fishing boats, cargo ships and yachts have surged over recent months and foreigners, who can be exchanged for large ransoms, are frequent targets.
Last week, four vessels were hijacked.
Somalia's coastal waters are close to shipping routes connecting the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, and the country's interim government lacks the resources to police its own coastline.
In June, the UN Security Council voted to allow countries to send warships into Somalia's waters to tackle the pirates.