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Growing Pirate Threat

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posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 02:13 AM
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Although the payoff isn't as large, there are many incidents where a pleasure craft - small yacht, sailboat, etc. - are attacked and boarded while out to sea.

Sorta like the opening scene in Clear and Present Danger.




posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 10:04 AM
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As somebody who works in the marine industry, i have known for years that pirates were not someting from the past. It is however confined in the most part (there is always somebody elsewhere willing to give it a go) to certain areas, the two largest are the horn of africa and the mallaca straights in indonesia. That is why the IMB think it was pirates not terrrorists responsible. The easiest way to prevent boarding is to have good luckouts and a fast ship (a modern cruise ship will do 30knots if required-much faster than the pirates little motor boats). Then a quick radio request to the nearest naval vessel, both areas are well guarded, will see a helicopter overhead in minutes. Most successfull attacks occur when one or more of these areas is not done, usually it is poor lookout.

As for what to do about it, there are a number of things. Increasing the number of naval vessels in problem areas cuts most of it out but is very expensive (even with assistance from US and EU vessels). Another possibility is to arm the merchant vessels (either guns or non-lethal, like the vessel in the news). This again is expensive and extremly dangerous (just think of drunk crews shooting up every passing motor boat etc, etc) . This has made the option rare (the uk has a few armed merchantman for carrying nuclear materials). The final option is to improve the design of the vessel to make it extreamly difficult to board at sea. This can include smooth side (nowhere for a grapple to attach), to electrified wire fencing around the deck, these methods are cheep but are not foolproof, most act under the assumption that the crew know they are being attacked and can 'activate the defenses' which is not always the case.

Active research into pirate prevention is being done in most maritime nations to reduce the cases even further, but it is likely never to be fully solved

[edit on 9-11-2005 by paperplane_uk]



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 11:08 AM
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You made some good points paperplane_uk


I was thinking there also needs to be some changes in how we pursue these Pirates in some parts of the world.

From the article I linked to in my first post




Regional sensibilities and tensions also interfere with policing. Indonesian and Malaysian coastguards will not cross into each other's national territory, even if in hot pursuit, says Capt Mukundan.

This plays into the hands of the criminals," he says


If I was a pirate I would so take advantage of this and hit targets close to the borders of two nations and then flee across the border to escape. I understand why one nation's coastguards crossing into another nation's waters can be very controversial, But I feel its important that we look into closing such advantages for Pirates.



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 07:47 AM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Thats scary IMHO these are not the actions of some group of thugs with a boat and AK-47s. You need some powerful networks and resources to pull something like that off.

Why do you need "powerful networks and resources" to get a boat, a couple of crazy desperate people and a few AK-47s?



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by SwearBear

Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Thats scary IMHO these are not the actions of some group of thugs with a boat and AK-47s. You need some powerful networks and resources to pull something like that off.

Why do you need "powerful networks and resources" to get a boat, a couple of crazy desperate people and a few AK-47s?


Umm.. because they hijacked and drained a Oil tanker

Do you have any clue how big those things are and how much oil they hold? There have been alot of attacks on large merchant ships as I posted earlier. It would be pointless for "couple of crazy desperate people and a few AK-47s" to try to steal many tons of cargo as they could never move it.

Yet these large boats are attacked and their cargo is sold off on the black market. Its clear they have some major networks to move stuff like a oil tankers cargo.



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX

Why do you need "powerful networks and resources" to get a boat, a couple of crazy desperate people and a few AK-47s?


Umm.. because they hijacked and drained a Oil tanker

Do you have any clue how big those things are and how much oil they hold? There have been alot of attacks on large merchant ships as I posted earlier. It would be pointless for "couple of crazy desperate people and a few AK-47s" to try to steal many tons of cargo as they could never move it.

Yet these large boats are attacked and their cargo is sold off on the black market. Its clear they have some major networks to move stuff like a oil tankers cargo.
Actually it wouldnt be that hard if the "crazy desperate people" knew how to run the ship, or atleast get it to a port.
There have been cases where pirates kill a crew, steal the ship and simply paint over it and rename it. Bang , you have the cargo and the boat to sell.



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by devilwasp

Actually it wouldnt be that hard if the "crazy desperate people" knew how to run the ship, or atleast get it to a port.
There have been cases where pirates kill a crew, steal the ship and simply paint over it and rename it. Bang , you have the cargo and the boat to sell.


Hijacking the boat aint the hard part unloading that much cargo is. Its not as easy at it might seem. You need a network of people that are not going to ask too many questions. The only way people are going to do that is if they are on the take and thats a criminal network.

Oil companies keep very good track of Oil shipments. Its not like some random shipment is just going to show up out of nowhere from a boat nobody has ever heard of and thats going to be business as usual. It would be obvious something is wrong.

Its not like every Tom Frank and Harry has the Hardware to unload and move the cargo of a Oil Tanker. Pretty much only Companies that do that will have that ablitly.



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 12:25 PM
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Well, if piracy will keep rising, an old custom from WWII and before times will return, so crews of ships traveling in dangerous areas will be allowed to have some weaponry (even automatic) in safe in case of pirates attack. Pirates will have to be crazy to close to ship under machinegun fire.



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Hijacking the boat aint the hard part unloading that much cargo is. Its not as easy at it might seem. You need a network of people that are not going to ask too many questions. The only way people are going to do that is if they are on the take and thats a criminal network.

Not really, Think about how many ports out there can unfuel a tanker?
Think about how easy it is to pay a dock worker to "lose" some paper work on it and bang you can get it unloaded.


Oil companies keep very good track of Oil shipments. Its not like some random shipment is just going to show up out of nowhere from a boat nobody has ever heard of and thats going to be business as usual. It would be obvious something is wrong.

Oil companies DO keep good records but who is going to know if that is a legal or non legal shipment? The head worker? One man can be paid off, very little people needed.


Its not like every Tom Frank and Harry has the Hardware to unload and move the cargo of a Oil Tanker. Pretty much only Companies that do that will have that ablitly.

You'd be surpised, many companies dont actually unload their own fuel, some companies use smaller companies to move them. I dont believe maersk owns ANY oil refinery's but they are the biggest shipper on the glove( I beleive they are close to becomeing the biggest fleet on the seas.)



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 12:57 PM
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I dont know how you can think a few people with AKs and a single head dock worker can unload and sell thousands of tons of stolen cargo. You make it seem far too simple when in reality you need in-depth knowledge of the shipping industry (false identity papers for the crew and vessel, fake cargo invoices, and a broker network to resell the stolen goods. The black market where stuff like this is sold is very big and involves alot of people that all want their cut.

The fact that only 1% of pirates had ever been caught suggest there might even be renegade navy or coast guard units working in conjunction with the pirates in some parts of the world.

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posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
I dont know how you can think a few people with AKs and a single head dock worker can unload and sell thousands of tons of stolen cargo. You make it seem far too simple when in reality you need in-depth knowledge of the shipping industry (false identity papers for the crew and vessel, fake cargo invoices, and a broker network to resell the stolen goods. The black market where stuff like this is sold is very big and involves alot of people that all want their cut.

Well not really, did you know up until a few years ago (and i believe this still is the policy for many countries) you didnt need ANY qualifications to become an officer on one of those ships?
Think about it, how "in depth knowledge" do you need to go if you are simply going to sell some oil? The boats worth far much more than a couple tonnes of oil.


The fact that only 1% of pirates had ever been caught suggest there might even be renegade navy or coast guard units working in conjunction with the pirates in some parts of the world.

link


I doubt it, the pirates are most likely just really good.
Hell they have even invented tactics on how to attack merchant ships.



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 01:39 PM
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These types of attacks are called "Phantom Ship." attacks and are the most sophisticated version of the crime. But lets see what the experts say.



Piracy has matured into a branch of organized crime. Hijacking requires money, equipment, weapons, planning, experience and contacts with corrupt officials. The loot per vessel ranges from $8 million to $200 million. Pottengal Mukundan, Director of ICC's Commercial Crime Services states in an IMB press release:

(Piracy) typically involves a mother ship from which to launch the attacks, a supply of automatic weapons, false identity papers for the crew and vessel, fake cargo documents, and a broker network to sell the stolen goods illegally. Individual pirates don't have these resources. Hijackings are the work of organized crime rings."



Thats the Director of ICC's Commercial Crime Services. Would you know better them him?


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[edit on 10-11-2005 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 02:05 PM
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Fair enough like, just voicing my opinion like and looks like I've had it shot outa the water so to speak lol.
Mind you this is a bit unsettling for me to speak about considering I go away to sea in like 5 or 6 months....lol



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 02:45 PM
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You are correct for most of the pirate attacks.The most common type of attack is where pirates simply board the merchant vessel, rob the crew and escape. These types of attacks can indeed be carried out by any smuck that has a boat and a weapon but I think they only net a few thousand bucks on average.

These Phantom ships attacks are a different breed. With about 80 percent of the world's commercial goods being transported by ships. Thats massive amounts of money billions and billions of dollars. When criminals go for that type of money they tend to get organized.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 05:56 PM
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... not suprised at all that this has started happening in larger scale attacks.

Actually, I AM surprised that "AQ" or some other group that is sick and tired of watching their resources plundered by the rich while the poor of the world starve.. hasn't pulled a USS Cole like attack on an Oil Tanker yet, specially near to a US port.. total ecological disaster, and it would cost a fortune to ensure that it didn't happen again (Appache Helicopters on the deck of every supertanker and or 50 cal machine guns). One speed boat with a reenforced hull and nose designed to penetrate a ships hull like a torpeado would - loaded with explosives, and another one to follow closely behind it and impact a second time in the same spot on the hull in order to sink it real good.

I'm also surprised that no one has thought to employ Q-Ships yet in order to put a stop to the attacks. Q-Ships were used in WW1 to a bit of success, and I believe that in the case of these pirates it would work well actually. The problem is that the trips these ships take is public and a desperate criminal gang can easilly figure out where to attack the ships in their route so as to be able to hit their target when it is most vunerable. A Q-Ship would have to somehow make itself a target by being in the wrong place at the right time, and seem almost like its in some sort of trouble, and unable to flee or defend itself.. that is of course untill the pirates get too close to their target, then the guns pop out off the deck.. surprise!

I'm also surprised that the UN doesn't have a fleet of Q-Ships already working on putting a permanent end to these sorts of attacks.

This would be a type of crime that would be totally worth putting an end to, and easilly done actually. I hear that the pirates are using larger ships as bases out in the ocean, easy targets.

But on the other hand, I blame the MPAA and RIAA.. I mean, if you disallow people from burning MP3s and Movies, they'll just move on to something else like they have here.


-VMX



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