Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tough Time for Pirates, Sea Robbers As Navy Gears Up for War

14 October 2011

For maritime operators in Nigeria, it has been one long tale of woes over the raw deal they have been having in the hands of pirates and sea robbers on waterways who delight in seizing their ships with near impunity.

The hijacked ships and trawlers most times are used as bait to attack other unsuspecting ones on the sea.

Fishing trawlers tend to be more vulnerable to such attacks. Usually the sea robbers will wait till a trawler releases its fishing gear which takes time to haul up. Since they can't haul up and run fast enough, they are easily overtaken by pirates who then gain easy access into the vessels.

Some of these sea robbers even go as far as sinking trawlers after making away with the goods, a worrisome development that necessitated an outcry by maritime operators in Nigeria, who claimed to have lost some of their members during such attacks.

In some cases, some of the hijacked vessels and crew members were rescued by Naval personnel. Vanguard Metro, VM, gathered that in most cases, the pirates demobilize the communication gadgets in the hijacked vessels, thereby preventing the crew from contacting rescuers. In other cases, vessels were released after payment of a whooping ransom.

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