Somali pirates group have looted over $60 million in ransom payments from ship owners last year. A report by the Seafarers’ Assistance Programme report read that 47 vessels and nearly 300 crew members were seized by Somali pirates.
Andrew Mwangura, the East African seafarers’ assistance programme officer has said although existing international efforts to counter piracy, 12 ships and their crews, together with a couple on a yachting cruise, have been hijacked last year.
“Somali pirates continued to threaten commercial activities in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean”, the officer said.
In the first weeks of the New Year, pirates attacked a lot of vessels those sailing in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
Global Peace Organisation, The World Peace Foundation and the Cambridge Coalition to Combat Piracy, have released 38 advices on how different stakeholders can fight the scourge on land and in the sea, according to Mwangura.
Pirates have affected efforts by the World Food Programme to send humanitarian aid to starving civilians in Somalia.
Recently, Somali pirates have hijacked a Greek flagged tanker, VLCC Maran Centaurus and 28 crews those sailing off the Somali coast. Pirates released the tanker after owners paid over $7 million for a ransom.
The pirates currently have over 11 ships and more than 280 hostages in their custody.