Norwegian Trade and Industry Minister talks tough on pirates / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian Trade and Industry Minister talks tough on pirates. Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske and other governmental legal officials believe it is time to arm Norwegian ships vulnerable to pirate attacks. “The pirate business is run purely by a mafia, nobody should believe otherwise. It is a professional outfit, not just some young boys paddling out to capture a big boat. Enormous sums are at stake,” he tells Norwegian business paper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). Pirates have attacked foreign-registered vessels sailing in in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean 36 times so far this year. 9 of these have been successful. Approximately 758 crew have been taken hostage.

trondgiske, gretefaremo, jacobstolt-nielsen, somalipirates



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Norwegian Trade and Industry Minister talks tough on pirates

Published on Friday, 4th March, 2011 at 18:18 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 5th March 2011 at 09:31.

Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske and other governmental legal officials believe it is time to arm Norwegian ships vulnerable to pirate attacks.

Fred Olsen and Trond Giske
Fred Olsen and Trond Giske
Photo: NHD-INFO/Flickr


Deterioration

“The pirate business is run purely by a mafia, nobody should believe otherwise. It is a professional outfit, not just some young boys paddling out to capture a big boat. Enormous sums are at stake,” he tells Norwegian business paper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

Pirates have attacked foreign-registered vessels sailing in in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean 36 times so far this year. 9 of these have been successful. Approximately 758 crew have been taken hostage.

Recent remarks by shipping magnate Jacob Stolt-Nielsen advocating putting pirates to death could have made matters worse.

“The situation is gradually deteriorating when it comes to the pirate business, spreading over ever-increasing geographical areas and becoming more comprehensive. It is difficult to combat with a military presence,” he says.

Minister of Defence Grethe Faremo acknowledges this, but claims “the solution lies on land. Norway has no plans to send a new frigate to help vessels sail safely in the Gulf of Aden until at the least the end of this year.

“This is both for operative and economic reasons,” she says in a press release.

Perillous

There have been at least two serious incidents involving non-Norwegian ships recently. In the middle of February, Somali pirates captured and killed four Americans that were aboard the US-registered ‘Quest’ yacht before Special Forces could intervene.

US Navy officials stated they were on their way to negotiate the hostages’ release they heard shots fired. Two pirates were killed, and 15 others were taken into custody.

Last week, a Danish family of five and their two assistants were taken hostage in the Suez Canal when pirates stormed their sailboat whilst on a round-the-world tour.

Latest reports say both parents have been separated from their three teenage and the other two and are now being held prisoner on board a pirate ship with other hostages.

The Danish government has refused to bow to ransom demands of what are believed to be between 700,000 and one million US dollars per person, saying it does not negotiate with pirates.

Norwegian pirate researcher Stig Jarle Hansen fears the family’s life may be in danger if they are provoked.

“This is a pretty experienced group of pirates we're talking about. They are accustomed to dealing with such situations, but they will not hesitate to shoot hostages if attacked,” he tells Nettavisen.

Urgent

Meanwhile, sailors’ unions are split over whether to permit armed resistance should be permitted, but some ship owners DN has spoken to already admitted carrying arms onboard.

Both the Ministries of Trade and Industry and Justice have sent out letters today for hearing today, suggesting new regulations in the fight against piracy.

Minister Giske justifies his decision, saying in a press release, “the seriousness of the situation for ships sailing through the Gulf of Aden shows carrying arms on Norwegian-registered ships should now be considered.”




Published on Friday, 4th March, 2011 at 18:18 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 5th March 2011 at 09:31.

This post has the following tags: trondgiske, gretefaremo, jacobstolt-nielsen, somalipirates.





  
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