On February 11, 2008, the Ukrainian arms freighter ‘Faina’ returned to the Kenyan Port of Mombasa with twenty sailors. The ship had been captured by Somali Pirates in the Gulf of Aden region more than four months ago, and was released after a ransom of $3.2 Million was para-dropped onto the ship by its owner. The capture of the ship was of particular concern to the international community because it was carrying arms including T-72 tanks, grenade launchers, antiaircraft guns, and substantial ammunition. For more information on this story click here.
Pirates have attacked more than 130 merchant ships in the Gulf of Aden region in 2008. In an unrelated event five suspected Somali pirates have been extradited to Netherlands for the failed attempt to hijack the Dutch Cargo Freighter ‘Samanyulo’ on 2nd January 2009. They will be prosecuted before the Dutch criminal courts and could face up to nine years of imprisonment if found to be guilty with the group leaders punishment extending up to 12 years. For more information on this story click here.
In another piracy-related event in the Gulf of Aden, the US Navy arrested seven suspected pirates on February 11, 2009, who were attempting to hijack the tanker ‘Polaris’. The seven suspects were taken aboard the USS Vella Gulf, which has been patrolling the area since January 2009 in responnse to the heightened piracy threat in the region. The US Navy intends to hand over the suspects to Kenya, which is setting up a new court system to try foreign pirates. For more information please click here.