Are there maritime pirates in the 21st century?
Maritime piracy is still common today, especially in the Horn of Africa in Somalia, and in the Gulf of Guinea, on the African coast of the Atlantic. Not long ago the news of piracy in the world was common. Real Pirates of the Sea and River stories
Frigate before a possible pirate ship
The European frigates keep watch, while disembarking their marines to carry out the inspection of a suspicious ship, upon receiving a warning from a ship that was considered being pursued.
Countries already defend their fishing and merchant ships
Some seas are obligatory places of passage and make them very dangerous
Many ships are attacked by pirates. Today’s maritime piracy seeks its loot in the seas with the most maritime or river traffic.
The ships hijacked by the pirates are used as hostages to demand a ransom. In some countries like Somalia there are dozens of pirate havens and they already consider it almost a profession. In some of these attacks, Somalis rob, rape and kill. But the international reaction, although slow at first, has taken action. Many of these attacking ships go down and the Somali pirates are killed.
Seas and Pirates today
Surveillance vessels sent landing craft with armed Marines to search the crew of ships suspected of piracy
Surveillance at sea by marines from various countries. A group of marines from international forces proceed to register a boat
Group of marines capture a pirate boat, which was about to attack a fishing boat
Spanish Frigate Attack
During the night they mistake it for a freighter and shoot it
A boat with less than 10 men was trying to board it.
The surprise of the Somali Pirates was enormous, when the Frigate turned and showed her 166 m length. A military support ship but of 17,000 tons, and armed.
The ship responded to the aggression. They are advised to stop the boat. She is on the run. When resisting, from the Spanish ship they shoot with machine guns at the boat, which was trying to approach the coast. Several pirates were killed and wounded, later arrested. One of the killed pirates was thrown into the sea by his companions.
On two previous occasions, they were also mistaken for merchant freighters, a French military ship in 2009 and a German one.
Pirates on the rise in the Gulf of Guinea
Nigerian Pirates Led By Former Military
Although piracy is known in Africa, it is always located on the coasts of Somalia mainly. However, there is another piracy carried out by Nigerian pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
These pirates are specialized in stealing the cargoes transported by the ships that sail through the area. They are also notable for the involvement of former Nigerian naval officers in these attacks, which is why it is believed that they have good information and knowledge of the area.
The EU against the Banks that launder the money of the Pirates
Pirates and Bankers
Given the high cost of maritime piracy for Europe, the EESC (European Economic and Social Committee) has decided to take action. The cost in money is almost 10 billion euros. However, in lives, 6 sailors were killed by pirates and almost 500 have been or are prisoners.
The EESC proposes to carry out measures against the banks that launder the money of pirates and not of them can be to draw up a black list where those banks that use the ransom money paid to the pirates are listed.
Greenpeace pursues pirate ship fishing illegally
The abuses committed by boats from various countries that practice fishing as a form of piracy, are sweeping the seas. These boats do not even operate with permits in the waters of African countries, one of these vessels is the Dongwon of Korean nationality, which despite not having permits, carries out pirate fishing.
Greenpeace has asked the Government of Mauritius not to grant permission to dock this ship, nor to unload fish from this ship in its ports.
Boats against the River Pirates
Ecuador and the robberies of fishermen
The frequent robberies of fishermen, carried out by Pirates, have led to measures being taken to protect them. The launch available to the agents was too old and did not allow a regular and fast surveillance service.
From now on, based on the island of Puná, there will be 2 new boats against pirates, with a speed of almost 100 km / h, equipped with GPS, video cameras and communications.
Odyssey treasure hunter
They investigated the shipwrecks of the Spanish fleets
General Archive of the Indies
The Odyssey pirates tricked a historian into investigating for them on the pretext that they were going to make a documentary about the more than 1500 shipwrecks recorded in the General Archive of the Indies.
They took advantage of this work considered a World Heritage Site to locate the remains of the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes frigate. And you have to be an expert to know how to research among the more than 80,000,000 documents that reflect the history of the colonization of America from the South of the United States to Argentine Patagonia.
The pirate Odyssey hunters do not indicate where the treasure is
American pirates of today
The American treasure hunter Odyssey Marine Exploración has had to return the 500,000 gold and silver coins from the Spanish military ship Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes sunk off the coast of Portugal.
However, it has not revealed the exact place where the remains of the ship are found. This raises fears for the conservation of their remains since for this type of companies their objective is to steal valuables. They are not interested in the historical value of the wreck. And perhaps the rest of the riches are reserved.
On the other hand, the real value to be discovered is still very large. According to the information contained in the Archive of the Indies, the value transported by the military ship was 1,000,000 silver pesos.
Current piracy around the world
Iran sends maritime surveillance patrols
Gulf of Aden
Faced with repeated pirate attacks, the Iranian government has decided to send surveillance ships to the Gulf of Aden to ensure maritime navigation in the area. According to some statements, it could even send warships to the Atlantic Ocean.
The most active areas of Maritime Piracy
The African continent continues in the first place in dangerous maritime zones due to the actions of pirates. The Horn of Africa, where Somalia stands out, became so dangerous that warships from different countries are currently monitoring the area. Ships, for their part, have been forced to bring their own security on board.
The Gulf of Omar is next in danger due to its maritime traffic and the wealth of some countries.
A sprawling area is developing in the Gulf of Nigeria where pirates seize ships and plunder them. The cargo of the ships is transported to other vessels to trade with it.
Pirates still have their Tax Havens
London and its former colonies
There are islands known worldwide because they have gone down in history for the lives of the pirates who lived or acted on them. Many of them still have ties to piracy even though it is more modern and their pirates do not wear a peg leg.
Cayman Islands, Virgin Islands, Bermuda Islands, Channel Islands, etc. are some of them that are currently considered Tax Havens. How could it be less, the largest regulatory center for Tax Havens is located in London.
The City of London has a whole network of institutions, companies, law firms that coordinate these tax havens settled mainly in former English colonies.
Somalis and those killed by the attacks
The IMO (International Maritime Organization) in its annual report, indicates that during 2011 at least 35 seafarers died as a result of pirate attacks on their vessels.
About 1000 sailors had contact with the pirates, but not all were able to get to safety from them. Only less than half of them managed to shelter in the special cage that isolates them and to stay in them until help arrived.
Pirates assault fishermen in Lake Maracaibo
Venezuela has already seen several similar cases
In recent months, several fishermen have been attacked and killed in Lake Maracaibo by gangs of pirates who steal their boats or their engines. They are believed to be related to drug trafficking.
There have already been several cases in which fishermen who resist them are thrown into the sea tied with anchor chains. This means that despite the searches, they cannot be located for several days, and they are already in a state of decomposition. There are complaints from fishermen about the null action of the police in these cases.
Fewer kidnappings but more ransom value
The protection measures of the Atalanta operation, which has reached 10 warships in the area, have resulted in reducing the number of hijacked ships.
But pirates have compensated for the reduction in catches by raising the value of ransoms. A ransom of less than $ 5 million is rare these days. Previously with $ 4 million they were satisfied.
Maritime Piracy has a cost of 20,000 million USA
According to a World Bank report, maritime piracy hinders trade and even reduces tourism in the area. It forces the ships to carry armed vigilantes and the constant presence of warships. Likewise, the aerial surveillance of the pirate camps is noteworthy. An approximate cost of $ 20 billion is estimated.
Since it is very expensive for these control measures to be maintained for a long time, the World Bank proposes as a solution to apply the law in territories plagued by piracy. The lack of punishment increases the number of camps dedicated to piracy.
Aerial surveillance of the territory and sea of Somalia
A Spanish plane, a P3 Orion, watches over dozens of pirate camps in Somalia and controls suspicious vessels. With the information it provides, possible pirate vessels are detected and expeditions against them are organized. The spy plane can work both during the day and at night, since it takes infrared photographs to alert the 7 European ships of the Atalanta operation of possible targets.
Relay in command of the ATALANTA anti-piracy operation
Spain has ceded to Portugal the command of the Atalanta operation, which it has maintained for the last 4 months, directing the defensive control of the 7 European warships. During this period there has been no hijacking of vessels and 30 pirates have been arrested.
Russian ships carry out anti-piracy maneuvers
A group of Russian ships will carry out preventive exercises against possible pirate attacks in the Pacific Ocean, in the China Sea to be prepared for pirate attacks on their merchant, sports and recreational ships.
Fishermen Killed by Pirates
Fishermen from Bangladesh were preparing to carry out their tasks at sea and were attacked by pirates. The pirates tied the feet and hands of the fishermen when capturing them. It is feared that they were thrown into the sea alive. The corpses of the fishermen were found floating in the waters of the sea days later.