Somali pirates have collected more than $150 million in ransoms over the past year, Kenya’s foreign affairs minister said Friday, calling on ship owners not pay when their vessels are hijacked.
In the past two weeks
"We are advised that in the last 12 months, ransom to the excess of $150 million has been paid to these criminals and that is why they are becoming more and more audacious in their activities," Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said.
Meanwhile, the world’s largest oil tanker company warned that it may divert cargo shipments, which would boost costs up to 40 percent.
Frontline Ltd., which ferries five to 10 tankers of crude a month through the treacherous
Martin Jensen, Frontlines acting chief executive, said that sending tankers around
Bermuda-based Frontline plans to make a decision whether to change shipping routes within a week, Jensen said.
"It’s not only our costs, but also those of the people who have a $100 million cargo on board," Jensen said. "We’re not going to make a unilateral decision so we’ve been debating this with our customers."
A.P Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest container-shipping company, on Thursday ordered some of its slower vessels to avoid the Gulf of Aden and head the long way around
The Copenhagen-based company said it was telling ships "without adequate speed," mainly tankers, to sail the long route around
The company did not say how many ships would be affected by the decision, but said it usually has eight tanker transits in the area per month. The company says it handles 16 percent of the world’s container-shipping traffic.
And Norwegian shipping group Odfjell SE on Wednesday ordered its more than 90 tankers to avoid the
A Russian frigate, meanwhile, was escorting nine ships in the pirate-infested waters off the coast of
The Somali pirates have the support of their communities and rogue members of the government. Often dressed in military fatigues, pirates travel in open skiffs with outboard engines, working with larger ships that tow them far out to sea. They use satellite navigational and communications equipment and an intimate knowledge of local waters, clambering aboard commercial vessels with ladders and grappling hooks.
They are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rocket launchers and grenades - weaponry that is readily available throughout
On Thursday, the African Union urged the United Nations to quickly send peacekeepers to