GLOCAL March 2014 - Page 18

The Gulf of Aden hotspot Piracy is particularly rife in the adjacent waters of Gulf of Aden near the Somali coast. Pirates in the Somali coast, particularly in the Horn of Africa region carry out advanced organised type of pirate attacks with precisely planned strategy for ship and crew hijack. Their objective of hijack is simple: ransom. The pirates are well aware that commercial ships have negligible resistance to counter the piracy attempts and as most of these ships are insured, they have high potential of gaining a lot from each big attempts made. The ransom amount is also quite handsome. For instance, hijacked in 2008 oil tanker Sirius Star paid US$ 1 million – US$ 3 million and Spanish fishing vessel Alakrana, hijacked in 2009, paid US$ 3.3 million as ransom money. Generally ships hijacked and subsequently freed from pirates paying ransom are unwilling to disclose the ransom amount. Southeast Asian waters as new piracy hotspot With the increasing dynamism by the emerging Asian nations, Southeast 16 With the dawn of globalisation the shipping industry is making bigger strides to increase volumes of shipment. It has presented the pirates tremendous opportunities to attack commercial ships and seize valuable and accessible cargo from ships, both in port or at sea. Piracy is the outcome of poor economic condition. Adam J. Young views piracy as β€œis largely motivated by poverty and disenfranchisement that afflicts vulnerable targets like fishermen and local traders.” Severe hardship of coastal communities makes piracy a viable option for changing dire economic conditions. Organised criminal groups steadily but increasing are involving in piracy. For them the cargoes carrying goods from other parts of the world are attractive means to earn a handsome income. Finally, as it is impossible to guard the entire waterways and the pirates sufficiently armed with sophisticated weapons, piracy is still difficult to check in full scale. Page The growth of piracy The widespread growth of piracy can broadly be attributed to several elements of globalisation. The ever growing shipping volume through seas, poor economic conditions by perpetrators, organised criminal groups, and limitations of enforcement agencies in countering piracy all play decisive roles.