(ICYMI) Coalition destroys Houthi-laid marine mines in southern Red Sea

Original article posted on Nov. 27th.

DUBAI: The Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen said it destroyed two mines laid by Houthis in the south of the Red Sea, state television Al Ekhbariya reported on Friday.

The actions of the Houthi militia, according to the coalition, threatened maritime security in Bab Al-Mandab and the southern Red Rea. The coalition said a total of 166 marine mines were removed and destroyed.

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Source: arabnews.com

Sabah’s sea curfew extended to Dec 16

Sabah

By STEPHANIE LEE

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s dusk-to-dawn sea curfew which ends on Tuesday (Dec 1), has been extended for another two weeks until Dec 16.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali (pic) said the extension of the 6pm to 6am curfew was needed due to continuous threats from cross-border criminals, including from kidnap-for-ransom groups.

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Source: thestar.com.my

Ruling delayed in Seychelles top court on whether case should be dismissed against 5 suspected Somali pirates

Only three out of the five Somali suspects appeared in court on Monday while the other two are receiving medical assistance. (Rassin Vannier)

By: Salifa Karapetyan Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame

(Seychelles News Agency) – Five Somali nationals suspected of piracy will be held an additional 14 days and reappear before the Seychelles Supreme Court on December 10 for a decision on whether the case should be dismissed.

Justice Gustave Dodin was supposed to give a ruling on Friday but according to the lawyer representing the Somalis, Joel Camille, “the judge has asked for some more time so that he can conclude the ruling.”

“When the prosecution had called all its witnesses, we submitted a ‘no case to answer’, which means that we told the court that the prosecution does not have enough evidence against the Somali nationals so the charges should be dismissed and they should be released,” said Camille.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta transferred the five suspects to Seychellois authorities after responding to piracy attacks on April 21 last year.

The suspects were transported by Spanish flagship ESPS Navarra and transferred to Seychellois authorities in accordance with a transfer agreement between the Seychelles and the European Union with support from UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The incident began on April 19, 2019 when five suspected pirates captured a Yemeni dhow off the coast of Somalia. Two days later the pirates attacked the Korean fishing vessel Adria with the dhow acting as a mothership in the Indian Ocean some 280 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.

The case which started on September 9 was to be heard for a month but due to restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, witnesses form Spain were unable to physically appear in court to give their evidence; the process was carried out via videolink. Seychellois witnesses from the police force physically appeared before the court to give their evidence.

To ensure that the legal process is fair, a representative of the UNODC has been present during the case hearings. Her duty was also to look after the welfare of the accused.

Camille said that the ruling might have been pushed to a later date due to an increase in workload as the year is coming to an end.

“Judge Dodin gave us a guarantee that on December 10 he will give his ruling. I feel that the court will rule in my favour as I am still convinced that the evidence presented were not enough against the Somali national and the court will dismiss the case against them,” said Camille.

Seychelles is east of the Somali coast and has placed itself at the forefront of the fight against piracy since 2005 when the scourge began expanding, adversely impacting the nation’s tourism and fishing industries, the top pillars of its economy. The island nation in the western Indian Ocean has since then been working with international partners to apprehend and prosecute suspected Somali pirates.

Somaliland and Seychelles signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the transfer of sentenced pirates in 2011. With special jurisdiction to handle piracy and maritime crime cases, Seychelles started hearing cases in June 2015.

Source: seychellesnewsagency.com

Maritime surveillance network to safeguard Indian waters

Shirish Nadkarni

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and French agency CNES (National Centre for Space Studies) have forged an alliance to set up a network of satellites for maritime surveillance to help detect, identify and track ships in the Indian Ocean, in order to safeguard Indian waters from the unwanted attention of pirates and hostile ships.

This was revealed by Vice-Admiral Pradeep Chauhan in the course of his talk on ‘India as a Net Security Provider – Indian Ocean Region and Beyond; Maritime Security and the Blue Economy’ during the concluding session of the two-day Inmex SMM Virtual Expo, last week.

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Source: seatrade-maritime.com

Huge cache of drugs seized from Sri Lanka-bound vessel

S. Vijay Kumar

The Indian Coast Guard intercepted a boat carrying a huge quantity of heroin and some foreign nationals off the Thoothukudi coast early on Wednesday. Preliminary enquiry revealed that the suspects were armed and transporting the narcotics consignment to Sri Lanka.

Defence vessels have stepped up surveillance along the eastern seaboard since Tuesday to assist fishermen in distress ahead of Cyclone Nivar. While it was not clear whether the boat was intercepted by chance or after a specific input, a senior official said initial reports confirmed the presence of foreign nationals in possession of a huge quantity of drugs.

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Source: thehindu.com

Oil tanker hit by blast at Saudi terminal, Saudi Arabia confirms

By ,

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) – An explosion damaged a Greek-managed tanker at a Saudi Arabian terminal on the Red Sea just north of the Yemeni border, the ship’s manager said on Wednesday, in an attack confirmed by Saudi Arabia.

In a statement published by state media, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen said a commercial vessel suffered minor damage from shrapnel in what it described as a foiled terrorist attack.

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Source: uk.reuters.com

MarsecNews: This incident comes just two days after Saudi coalition forces destroyed a number of sea mines in the Red Sea. Click here for details.

Three ‘Abu Sayyaf bombers’ killed in encounter off Zamboanga City

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 25) — Police killed three suspected Abu Sayyaf bombers on board a pump boat in waters off Zamboanga City Wednesday morning.

The militants were “believed to be on a bombing mission” when authorities spotted them “speeding towards Zamboanga City” at daybreak, the Philippine National Police said in a statement. Two caliber .45 pistols and a cache of explosives were recovered from their pump boat, the PNP said.

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Source: cnnphilippines.com

Hostages snatched from Sabah unhurt in latest skirmish between Abu Sayyaf and Philippines military

By MUGUNTAN VANAR

KOTA KINABALU: Four Indonesian hostages abducted from Sabah earlier this year are unhurt as their Abu Sayyaf captors clashed with pursuing Philippines military forces in Jolo.

Regional intelligence sources said the gunmen managed to escape the pursuing Philippines marines who killed Abu Sayyaf sub-leaders Hatib Munap and Sansibar Bencio during the gunfight at Panamao in the southern Philippines island of Jolo on Friday (Nov 20).

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Source: thestar.com.my

Special Report on Incidents against ships in the Singapore Strait

The ReCAAP has released a new report (Nov. 23rd) regarding ongoing attacks against shipping in the Singapore Strait. There have been a number of armed robberies in recent weeks.

Since 2019 through 2020, there is a sharp increase in the number of incidents of robbery and theft against ships while underway in the Singapore Strait (SS), compared to the period of 2016-2018. In 2019, 31 incidents were reported, and 33 incidents were reported in 2020 as of 20 Nov. The number of incidents during January-November 2020 accounts for an increase of 43% compared to January-November 2019 (23 incidents).

Although the majority of the 33 incidents reported during January-November 2020 were at a low level of severity [CAT 4 incidents where the perpetrators were not armed and the crew not harmed], the ReCAAP ISC is seriously concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents in the SS. In some incidents, perpetrators were persistent in committing crime by boarding two ships in a row within a short interval and in close proximity.

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Source: recaap.org