“Most spectacular fraud in shipping history”

Ince Gordon Dadds partner Carrie Radford and senior associate Lucy Espley comment on the extraordinary Brillante Virtuoso case

In 2011, the 1992-built Suezmax tanker Brillante Virtuoso was within Yemeni waters waiting for a security team. A small boat approached carrying seven armed persons. The master allowed them to board, apparently believing they were the security team. The ‘security team’ hijacked the ship and within hours set the vessel on fire. The ship was abandoned, the crew was rescued by a passing ship and Brillante Virtuoso was later sold for scrap.

The vessel’s owner, Suez Fortune Investments Limited, and mortgagee bank, Piraeus Bank AE, brought a claim on the vessel’s war risks policy for a constructive total loss, totalling US$77M, claiming that the loss of the vessel was caused by piracy or hijacking.

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Source: rivieramm.com

Pirates attacked Italian supply ship, two crew wounded, Mexico

Ciudad del Carmen

NIKOLAY TORKIN

Italian offshore supply ship REMAS with 35 people on board was attacked by some 7-8 armed pirates in two fast boats on Nov 11, in Gulf pf Mexico, N of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico. Pirates boarded the ship, in following skirmish two crew, both Italians, were wounded, but luckily, wounds aren’t life threatening. Pirates managed to loot the ship and the crew, and fled. Injured seamen were transferred to hospital, REMAS moved to Ciudad del Carmen anchorage and anchored.

Offshore supply ship REMAS, IMO 9586459, dwt 2681, built 2011, flag Italy, manager MICOPERI, Ravenna.

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Source: maritimebulletin.net

Sabah cops looking into deaths of family of six, all believed shot

By STEPHANIE LEE

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police are looking into the deaths of a family of six, all believed shot to death in a boat on their way to the southern Philippines from Semporna district on Nov 6.

State police commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah said in the case, the six, including children and adults, were heading to the southern Philippines when they were believed to have ran into the shooters.

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Source: thestar.com.my

Pirates kidnap four crew from Greek boat off Togo – Togo navy

LOME (Reuters) – Pirates attacked a Greek oil tanker off the coast of Togo in the early hours of Monday and fled after taking four crew members as hostages, the West African nation’s navy said, two days after a similar attack in the waters of neighbouring Benin.

Of the missing crew members, two are Filipinos, one is Greek and one is Georgian, the navy said in a statement. One security guard was also shot and wounded in the attack, it said. “Monday, 4th of November 2019, around 0300, the tanker boat Elka Aristotle […] was attacked around 18 kilometres (11 miles) from the port of Lome by armed individuals,” the statement said.

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Source: euronews.com

Nine sailors abducted off the coast of Benin

MV Bonita, image via J.J. Ugland.

A Norway-based shipping company says that nine of its employees have been abducted from one of its vessels while it was moored off the coast of Benin in West Africa.

Shipping firm J.J. Ugland said the cargo ship, the Bonita, was attacked on Saturday by pirates 15km (9 miles) off the coast.

The crew’s identity and nationality have not been made public, but the shipping firm said the rest of the crew moved the vessel into the Port of Cotonou in Benin.

The ship was carrying a cargo of gypsum, a mineral commonly used as fertiliser, which was destined for Benin, the firm said.

While piracy has decreased world wide, West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea remains notorious for abductions by armed groups who usually demand ransoms for the safe return of victims.

Several abductions have been reported in the region in recent months, including eight crew members taken from a German-owned vessel off Cameroon in August, and 10 Turkish sailors off the coast of Nigeria in July.

Source: bbc.com

Russian seamen kidnapped off Cameroon freed

MOSCOW, Russia – Moscow on Sunday, September 22, said 3 Russian seamen abducted in an act of piracy off the coast of Cameroon in August have been freed and brought to Germany.

The Russians were part of a group of sailors, including Chinese and Ukrainian citizens, taken hostage in mid-August after an attack on their merchant ships in the Gulf of Guinea. In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry said they were “released from pirate captivity” and that their health was “satisfactory.”

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Source: rappler.com