Friday, May 4, 2012

Somali pirates change tactics to evade navy heat

LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - Somali pirates are switching back to using smaller cargo and fishing boats as motherships, hoping to evade detection as maritime security is stepped up to foil their attacks on merchant vessels, industry and navy sources say.

With the prospect of ransoms worth tens of millions of dollars, Somali pirates continue to threaten vital shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Over 20 years of war and famine have worsened prospects for Somalis, adding to the appeal for many young men of crime on the high seas.

Armed gangs had started using large merchant vessels - including tankers - that they had seized as motherships, forcing crews by gunpoint to do their bidding. The tactic, employed agressively in 2011, enabled them to operate further out at sea. Read More