Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Director General
Nancy Karigithu said there were at least 219 attacks on ships in the
coast of Somalia since last year.
Attributing the information to the International
Maritime Bureau, she said that Somali pirates hijacked at least 49 ships
and took 1,016 crew as hostages.
Ms Karigithu also revealed that total ransom as at
June this year was Sh1.7 billion (US$254 million). There are 14 pirated
vessels and 345 hostages awaiting ransom payment.
Mrs Karigithu was making her presentation titled
‘simulation of piracy incidences’ to judges and magistrates attending a
maritime law meeting at Leisure Lodge Resort, Diani.
The conference, which was concluded last week, was organized by the KMA and Judicial Training Institute (JTI).
Somali pirates she said are different and tactful
in the way they conduct their operations and are not deterred by the
presence of naval forces from the European Naval Forces, Combined
Maritime Forces, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) and
independent navies of Russia, India, Japan and China among others.
They are the only ones who can hijack a supertanker from the high seas and dock it at their port awaiting ransom.
“They have no respect for any ship even if it is carrying dangerous goods,” said the director general.
Piracy, she noted, had become rampant because of poverty and political instability.