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The International Maritime Bureau has reported an unprecedented increase in the number of serious attacks off Somalia. Recently two vessels have been attacked around 90 miles off the coast over two consecutive days by pirates.
Since 15 March 2005, there have been 23 attacks against vessels off the southern and eastern coast of Somalia. Once the vessels have been taken over they are taken close in-shore and the pirates typically demand a ransom for the return of the vessel and the crew.
A vessel carrying a World Food Programme cargo into Somalia, was seized by pirates and held for over 14 weeks. A sister vessel which went to provide fuel and provisions to the attacked vessel was also seized by the same gang. The pirate gangs appear to have the protection and support of the local warlords and see this as a lucrative source of revenue with minimal risk to themselves. This is a region with a high number of coalition naval vessels who could play an important role in responding to these crimes.
Vessels are approached by one or two fast boats. The pirates on board have automatic weapons and sometimes a rocket propelled grenade launcher. They will fire on the bridge windows of the vessel to force the captain to slow down or stop. Once the vessel slows down, the pirates draw up alongside and clamber on board and take over the vessel.
“These attacks take place in international waters and we call upon the naval vessels in the region to come to the assistance of the hijacked ships. At the very least, they can prevent the hijackers from taking these ships into Somali waters. Once the vessels have entered these waters the chances of any law enforcement response is negligible. There is no national law enforcement infrastructure in Somalia. These waters have become a pirate’s charter and unless the international community takes action against these criminals, vessels passing this coast face considerable danger. ” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of the ICC International Maritime Bureau.
For further information please contact
ICC International Maritime Bureau
1 Linton Road
Tel: +44 (0)20 8591 3000
Fax: +44 (0)20 8594 2833
Everyone in business knows that financial fraud is a growing threat. The question is how best to deal with it. No financial services business is immune and now there is increasing pressure by regulators upon the industry to meet international standards of know-your-customer.
The ICC's Financial Investigation Bureau (FIB), has received numerous reports of irregularities stemming from banks registered in Anjouan, Comoros Islands, off the east coast of Africa. Specifically, the FIB has learned of several incidents where offers of trade financing, commercial lending or asset-backed lending were made against false financial instruments such as Letters of Credit, Standby Letters of Credit, and Bank Guarantees.
The ICC’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports that acts of piracy are increasing at an alarming rate off the eastern coast of Somalia. Fifteen violent incidents have taken place since mid-March of this year. This is a dramatic increase compared with only two such attacks in all of 2004. Ships sailing in these waters are advised to be extremely cautious.
The ICC Financial Investigation Bureau (FIB) is warning investors based in the Middle East to be wary if offered the opportunity to invest in any pre-IPO (Initial Public Offering) companies. The FIB is also recommending that caution be exercised in responding to any large-scale regional glossy magazine or newspaper advertisements making similar offers.