High Court: “Pirate Attack” was Attempted Fraud

In a ruling issued Monday, the High Court of London ruled that the tanker Brillante Virtuoso was irreparably damaged not by pirates, as her owner and banker claimed, but by a group of conspirators. Justice Nigel Teare found that the owner’s claims of piracy were improbable, and he reached the “firm conclusion” that the attackers intended to destroy the vessel, that they had the assistance of the master and chief engineer as they went about the task, and that the owner orchestrated the scheme in order to defraud his insurer. 

On July 6, 2011, Brillante Virtuoso was drifting off Aden, awaiting a team of unarmed security contractors before transiting Bab el-Mandeb. A small boat approached carrying seven masked, armed men. The men informed the crew that they were “security,” and they came aboard with the master’s permission. (The disputants in the case agreed that the boarding party’s members were likely current or former Yemeni Coast Guard or Navy servicemenbers.) They ordered the crew to the day room, and escorted the master to the bridge and the chief engineer to the engine room. 

To continue reading, please click here.

Source: maritime-executive.com

Sailors from USS Philippine Sea rescue the crew of the Brillante Virtuoso

Renewed Clashes in Hodeidah as Peace Talks Continue

Despite a U.N.-backed ceasefire agreement, fighting between Houthi rebels and government forces has resumed on the south side of the port city of Hodeidah, Yemen. Pro-government militia leaders told Xinhua that Houthi units had shelled several neighborhoods, damaging homes and destroying part of a hospital. 

Under the terms of an agreement negotiated in Stockholm last December, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels were to withdraw from the port, and Saudi- and UAE-backed Yemeni government forces were to pull back from their positions surrounding the city. Houthi security units at the port have transferred control to the Yemeni Coast Guard, but the head of the UN mission in Hodeidah, Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, said last month that considerable work remains to demilitarize the port complex. 

To continue reading, please click here.

Source: maritime-executive.com

HMCS Regina completes two more drug busts in 4 days

In just 4 days, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina, under the command of the Pakistan led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, conducted its second and third illegal narcotic hauls, seizing and destroying just over 4,500Kgs of hashish and 10 Kgs of heroin.

CTF 150 is a multinational maritime force whose mission is to maintain maritime security and prevent illegal activity across the Arabian Sea, Southern Red Sea and Western Indian Ocean. Covering an area of 2.3m square kilometers, CTF 150 works with its coalition partners to help prevent illegal narcotics.

Commodore Alveer Ahmed Noor Si, Commander CTF150 said: “The Pakistan Navy command team is determined to maintain good order at sea through adept deployment of CTF150 Units. Effective Command and Control and close coordination with deployed assets has resulted in the successful seizure of a sizable amount of narcotics. Maritime Domain Awareness and Maritime Security Cooperation between relevant stakeholders is a necessity to overcome various maritime challenges and protect global commerce”.  He went onto say: “As Commander of Combined Task Force 150, my aim is to continue working together with regional players, participating nations and maritime organisations in order to further augment collaboration with regional states and harness their support, which remains pivotal for maintaining maritime security throughout the region”.

On the 14th and 18th April, HMCS Regina spotted two suspicious dhows, off the coast of Oman in an area known as the “Hash Highway.” The ship deployed its Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) team – working as the boarding team for the ship, and seized hauls of illegal hashish and heroin, which were transferred to HMCS Regina and subsequently destroyed.

Commander Jacob French, Commanding Officer HMCS Regina “We’re honoured to be contributing to counter-terrorism and maritime security efforts in the Middle East, ensuring the funding from illegal narcotics is staying out of the hands of criminal and terrorist organisations. I’m extremely proud of the hard work of our ship’s company, and we remain ready to continue our mission and support CTF 150 and the Combined Maritime Forces.”

Lt (N) Jacob Killawee, NTOG Officer in Charge said, “Our priority when boarding these ships is the safety and welfare of the fishermen we encounter, drugs being there or not. In order to effectively deter and disrupt the flow of narcotics that is funding terrorism, it’s just as important for us to build trust with the people who are being exploited by those same actors who wish to do us harm. We are trained and prepared for a worst case scenario, but treating the crew with dignity and respect makes our job easier and safer for everyone involved. Our success validates the hard work we’ve done in preparation for this deployment, ensuring that we were in the right place, with the right training and equipment to achieve this result.”

Source: combinedmaritimeforces.com