Pirate-controlled Dutch ship docks at Somali port

29th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Local officials say the Dutch cargo ship under the control of Somali pirates has docked at a port in North-East Somalia.

28 May 2008

MOGADISHU - A Dutch cargo ship under the control of Somali pirates has docked at the port of Rasibina in North-East Somalia, local officials said on Wednesday.

"The ship has arrived near Bargal - all the fishermen are idle today because they afraid that they pirates may shoot them if they come close," Abdi Nor Galeyr, district commissioner of the nearby Bargal, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa by telephone.

The MV Amiya Scan, owned by the Netherlands' Reider Shipping, left the Kenyan port of Mombasa on 19 May and was seized on Sunday.

Ahmed Sa'id, a minister from the semiautonomous region of Puntland, said that coastguards had been sent to rescue the ship, although he warned that a lack of manpower meant that such missions were difficult.

"We don't have enough strength to battle the pirates, but we will call on the international community to resolve such problems," he said in a cabinet meeting, adding that shipping firms should avoid paying ransoms as this encourages pirates.

Danish group Scan-Trans Shipping said it had chartered the ship seized in the Gulf of Aden. The cargo was a bore platform destined for the Romanian port of Constanza.

Lars Juhl, manager of Scan-Trans Shipping, told the website maritimedanmark.dk that the company has been in touch with the crew and their families, although he declined to say if a ransom demand had been made.

The ship is crewed by nine people - four Russian officers and five Filipinos.

Piracy is rife off the Somali coast, which is close to key shipping routes. Some 25 cases were reported in 2007, and at least 10 in 2008.

Pirates last Friday released a Jordanian-flagged ship carrying sugar to the Somali capital Mogadishu without a ransom being paid.

The highest-profile case in recent months involved the capture of a luxury French yacht in April and the attempted ransoming of its crew. French troops recovered the hostages and captured six of the pirates, although another six are believed to have escaped.

The International Maritime Bureau has advised vessels that are not scheduled to call on Somali ports to keep a distance of at least 200 nautical miles away from the Somali coast.

[dpa / Expatica]

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