Shipping community condemns Somali pirates

April 18th, 2011 - 11:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 18 (IANS) The shipping community Monday condemned the Somali pirates for not releasing all the Indian crew members of a hijacked merchant vessel despite the payment of ransom and expressed their solidarity with the seafarers and their families.

The organisations included International Chamber of Shipping, ITF Seafarers, Indian National Shipowners’ Association, National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI), InterManager, Intertanko, Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and other bodies.

“Despite the owners’ concluding a dialogue with the pirates for the full release of 15 crew and vessel on payment of ransom, the vessel was released after seven crew members were taken off the tanker and made to accompany the pirates ashore,” said NUSI general secretary Abdulgani Y. Serang.

“The pirates in Harardhere have taken the decision not to honour the agreement made but to prolong the hostage ordeal of the 7 seafarers in retaliation for the arrest of Somali pirates by the Indian Navy in recent weeks,” he added.

Serang said this is a fundamental change to previous practice and moves the issue from being just between the ship owners and pirates to being between the pirates and a government.

“It is a major shift in the pirate-hostage equation which will need to be considered and addressed by the international community,” he said.

MSV Asphalt Venture was hijacked by Somali pirates Sep 28, 2010.

“The international and national representative organisations are gravely concerned with this new development as international governments continue to fail to adequately respond to this 21st century example of organised and violent criminality,” Serang said.

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