Prime Time Crime







ICC piracy report

Piracy in Somalia





Piracy attacks

LONDON - Pirate attacks around South American and Caribbean waters are growing, and violence is increasingly used during robberies committed on vessels at anchor, a report showed on Wednesday.   The Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) non-profit group recorded 71 incidents in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017, a 163% increase over 2016. (Reuters)  REPORT:   State of Maritime piracy 2017   


Warships rescue bulk carrier

GULF OF ADEN - Warships from India, China and Pakistan operated jointly in the Gulf of Aden to rescue a merchant vessel attacked by Somali pirates.  (Hindustan Times)



PUNTLAND - Somali pirates have hijacked an Indian cargo vessel off the coast of the Puntland region.  Maritime sources have identified the vessel as the Al Kausar with 11 crew on board.  (BBC)


Pirate attack   

CALGARY - Loretta Reinholdt, 54, and Andy Wasinger, 46, set off in a 17-metre hired boat with a captain, heading from Belize to the Honduran island of Roatan.  They had wanted to learn how to sail. Instead, they were set upon by 4 men armed with guns and knives who boarded the boat and took their money. The pirates then rammed the stolen boat into the shoreline of a remote beach in Jeanette Kawas National Park.   (CBC)   MORE:   Couple happy to be alive


Buccaneers battle piracy

TUTICORIN - The arrest by Indian police of a Sierra Leone-registered ship operated by the Virginia anti-piracy company AdvanFort, shines a spotlight on the dramatic proliferation of seagoing Blackwater-style private militias out to thwart Somali and other pirates for profit.  (Asia Sentinel)   MORE:   Trouble on India's high seas   Sailor 'attempts suicide'   MV Seaman Guard Ohio   India police arrest crew of US ship   Private Military Companies 


Tanker released

ABIDJAN - Pirates have released a tanker ship with 17 crew members they hijacked off Ivory Coast.  The ship's owner, French company Sea Tankers, said the M/T Gascogne was freed after pirates stole part of its cargo. PREVIOUS:   Tanker hijacked   French tanker hijacked  


Pirates seize oil tanker

LAGOS - Pirates in Nigeria have seized an oil tanker owned by Singapore, the International Maritime Bureau said.  (Deutsche Welle)   MORE:  Pirates hijack oil tanker   Pirates attack oil tanker  MV Abu Dhabi Star  


Hostages freed

MOGADISHU - The same US Navy SEAL that killed Osama bin Laden parachuted into Somalia under cover of darkness early Wednesday and crept up to an outdoor camp where an American woman and Danish man were being held hostage. Soon, 9 kidnappers were dead and both hostages were freed.  (AP)   MORE:  US commandos free hostages   US military raid


Pirate Fighters Inc

It was a normal morning in April last year. Normal, that is, by the crazy standards of the fishermen, ship’s crews, navy sailors and Somali pirates plying their dangerous trades on 2.5M square miles of lawless ocean stretching from India to Kenya.  (Wired)


Pirates hijack sailboat

COPENHAGEN - Pirates have hijacked a Danish sailboat with four adults and three children aboard as they were crossing the Indian Ocean.  (AP) 


Mother ship seized

A NATO warship has captured a suspected pirate mother ship off Somalia, NATO's counter-piracy mission has said.  (BBC)   


Pirates attack navy ship

A group of Somali pirates has been captured after attacking a French navy ship by mistake, apparently thinking it was a harmless cargo vessel.  (BBC)  

Vessel released

MOGADISHU - Somali pirates who hijacked an oil tanker have released it without condition.  The announcement came hours after the pirates and naval forces exchanged gunfire over a boat believed to be carrying supplies to the hijackers.   (BBC)   PREVIOUS:   Easy target     Pirates hijack oil tanker    Aris 13 


Piracy update

KUALA LUMPUR - Sea piracy plunged to its lowest levels in 18 years in 2016, but kidnappings of crew members for ransom is escalating off West Africa and in the Sulu Seas near the Philippines, a global maritime watchdog said.  (AP)   REPORT:   IMB 2016 report


2015 piracy

KUALA LUMPUR - The International Maritime Bureau said in its annual piracy report that 246 piracy incidents were recorded worldwide, one up from 2014. It said pirates hijacked 15 vessels and held 271 hostages, down from 21 ships and 442 hostages in 2014.  (AP)  REPORT:   Maritime piracy hotspots persist  


Compensation for pirates 

STRASBOURG - The European Court of Human Rights ordered France to pay thousands of euros to Somali pirates who attacked French ships for 'violating their rights' by holding them an additional 48 hours before taking them before a judge.   (AFP)  


Sophisticated piracy

Piracy remains a concern for ships passing the Horn of Africa, even though the number of incidents has plummeted since 2011, when armed protection was beefed up on board many large vessels.  Yet the pirate economy is poorly understood.  (Economist)  REPORT:   Pirate trails  Pirates v economists 

Movie deal scam

BRUSSELS - In a sting operation worthy of Hollywood, Mohamed Abdi Hassan was lured from Somalia to Belgium with promises of work on a documentary about high-seas crime that would "mirror his life as a pirate."    (AP)   MORE:   Movie trap 


Declared pirates

SEATTLE - A US court has declared the conservation group Sea Shepherd to be "pirates" and ordered it to stop its aggressive actions against Japanese whalers.  (Guardian UK)  


'Judge' jails ransom payers

MOGADISHU - A Somali court has jailed three Britons and an American for illegally bringing in millions of dollars in ransom for pirates, but the judge suggested the convicts could buy their freedom.    (Reuters)


India captures 61

Indian naval patrols captured 61 suspected Somali pirates and rescued 13 crew from a hijacked fishing vessel after a crossfire in the Arabian Sea  (CNN) 


Hostages killed

Four Americans hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman have been killed by their captors, US defence officials say.   (BBC)   MORE:  Americans slain by captors   Pirates may face US trial   Pirates hijack US yacht  


Pirate ringleader faces execution

GAROWE - A pirate ringleader has been sentenced to death by a court in the breakaway Somali state of Puntland.  Salah Mohamed Gelle faces execution for murdering Sayid Jacfar, the Pakistani skipper of hijacked cargo ship the MV QSM Dubai, in early June.  Seven other pirates who took part in the assault were sentenced to jail terms of between 10 and 17 years.  (BBC)   


Pirates seize ships

NAIROBI, Kenya - Somali pirates seized a ship carrying fertilizer from the US in the Indian Ocean and a British-flagged chemical tanker in the heavily patrolled Gulf of Aden - the first merchant vessel to be hijacked in the gulf in nearly six months.  (AP)     



Piracy leads to economic development

While certainly damaging to the international shipping industry, the fruits of Somali piracy are benefitting more than a handful of criminals - they’re being shared with the greater community, a new report has found.  Developmental effects of piracy   Chatham House

Piracy costs $8.3B a year

Piracy off the Somali coast costs the international community up to $8.3bn a year, a new report from the Geopolicity consultancy estimates.  "Given the supply and demand for piracy services... there is plenty of room for expansion," the report warns.  The EU Navfor anti-piracy force says (.pdf) 23 vessels and 530 hostages are currently being held.  (BBC)



Islamists take bases

MOGADISHU - The last Ethiopian troops in Somalia's capital have left Mogadishu and Islamist forces have taken over most of the bases they have left behind.  (BBC) 


War in Somalia  

Motives in China's anti-piracy push



Pirates take tanker

The Greek-owned Maran Centaurus was about 1,300km (800 miles) off Somalia when it was hijacked said the EU Naval task force.  The ship was full of oil and is believed to be one of the largest yet seized by Somali pirates. (BBC)   MORE:  Ships held

German ship freed

Somali pirates have freed the hijacked German merchant vessel Beluga Fortune and its 16-strong crew without getting a ransom payment, a day after the bulk carrier was taken.   (Reuters)   PREVIOUS:  Ships attacked by pirates 2010   Pirates seize ships  



Piracy mission troubled

OTTAWA - Pirate-fighting sailors had to share uniforms, borrow equipment and battle Ottawa for authority to fly their helicopter, which was key to a Canadian counter-piracy mission in the Horn of Africa last year.  (Toronto Star)

Tanker hijacked

For the second time in two days, a tanker carrying oil has been hijacked, the European Union Naval Force said.   (CNN)   MORE:  Pirates seize another tanker   Pirates seize oil tanker   Indian navy seizes pirates   India detains 52    



Pirates 'released'

MOSCOW - The pirates seized by a Russian warship off the coast of Somalia have been released because of "imperfections" in international law, the Defense Ministry said Friday, a claim that sparked skepticism - and even suspicion the pirates might have been killed.  (AP)   PREVIOUS:  Tanker taken back

Malaysia navy foils hijack

Malaysia says its navy commandos have foiled an attempted hijacking of a ship in the Gulf of Aden, rescuing 23 crew and capturing 7 Somali pirates.  (BBC)   PREVIOUS:  S Korea storms ship   S Korean warship 'rescues' N Korean vessel   Canada steps up pirate battle



Mid-ocean pirate attack

Somali pirates have attacked an oil tanker some 1,000 nautical miles (1,850km) off the coast, the EU's anti-piracy mission says.  (BBC)

Pirates kill captain

MOGADISHU - Somali pirates have boarded a ship heading for Mogadishu harbour and shot dead its Syrian captain, officials say.  (BBC)



Couple released after 388 days

MOGADISHU - Paul and Rachel Chandler, the retired Kent couple kidnapped from their yacht by Somali pirates more than a year ago, have been released unharmed.   (Telegraph UK)   MORE:  'We're rather skinny'   Pirates argue over hostages   'Please don't worry about us'

Pirate consultant team in London

LONDON - The Somali pirates attacking shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean are directed to their targets by a "consultant" team in London, according to a European military intelligence document obtained by a Spanish radio station.  (Guardian UK)   MORE:  Pirates can locate ships without London mole    Ransoms blamed for piracy



Captain rescued

US Navy snipers made a split-second decision to shoot dead three Somali pirates holding a cargo ship captain hostage on a lifeboat, officials say.  (BBC)  

Islamic militants 'attack' pirates

Pirates collect over $150M in ransoms

Hijacked ship anchors off Somali coast

Pirates reign on the high seas 

Captain freed
France to probe hostage death
USDoD Maersk ships
Pirates seize ship, US sailors 

Journalist fled Russia  

Mystery deepens after arrests

MV Arctic Sea 

Pirates arrested

Pirates hijack tsunami aid ship

Pirates hijacked chemical tanker

'Hot pursuit'

India praised for sinking pirates

Indian Navy sinks suspected pirate ship

Rules frustrate anti-piracy efforts

Pirates take oil tanker

Somali pirates hijack giant oil tanker

Somalia falling to Islamists

Looking for the good guys

Ship seized by pirates carrying tanks

Mystery surrounds hijacked Iranian ship

2008 in piracy

Pirate attack up 20%

France is tracking hijacked yacht

Pirates seize more vessels

Pirates ramp up attacks

Pirates attack cruise ship

No way to stop us

Arms ship ransomed   MV Faina 

Navies unlikely to be a solution

Cruise ship repels Somali pirates

Malacca pirates seize hostages

Killings by pirates on the rise

International Maritime Bureau (IMB)

Take me to the mothership

Somalia's pirates are 'thriving'

Ship hijacked in Africa

US warships battle pirates

Somali pirates free Japan tanker





Prime Time Crime

Recent Headlines