Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/04/2016
1. Nigerian Pirates Strike Again
Another brazen attack off Nigeria as pirates board and kidnap two crew members from a containership underway. The ship has been identified as the Liberian-flagged "CMA CGM Turquoise", a 4,360 TEU containership chartered by CMA CGM. The IMB confirmed the attack and kidnappings, reporting that armed pirates boarded the ship underway approximately 30 nautical miles southwest of Bayelsa Coast, Nigeria. Master raised the alarm, activated SSAS and all crew members, except two crew, mustered in the citadel. After about 12 hours, the crew emerged from the citadel and discovered that the two crew had been kidnapped.
2. Owner Arrested on Fraud
A Greek ship owner was arrested by London police as he left court after testifying in a $77 million lawsuit against the insurers of a ship that was allegedly damaged by pirates off the coast of Yemen. Police officers told Marios Iliopoulos that he was being arrested for conspiracy to commit fraud and led him into the back of an unmarked car as he emerged from the Rolls Building, the court where large commercial cases are heard. Suez Fortune Investments Ltd. is seeking $77 million from Talbot Underwriting Ltd. and other insurers over damage to the vessel "Brillante Virtuoso" in 2011, according to documents filed in the case. https://goo.gl/zaw66c
3. EU to Invest in Security
The European Union has unveiled plans to invest €20m in maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. This was announced as a delegation of EU consultants led by Mr. Chris Hedley paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency. “The EU plans to use the fund in developing and strengthening legislation, building capacity in maritime security and developing the necessary Information Technology for member nations with a view to eradicating piracy and other related crimes in the Gulf of Guinea,” Hedley said. The Director-General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, welcomed the plan and commended the EU.
4. Somali Pirates Sentenced
Seven Somali pirates were sentenced to between six and 15 years in prison by a French court on Wednesday for the hijacking of a French yacht and killing of its owner in the Gulf of Aden in 2011. Christian and Evelyne Colombo were on a round-the-world trip when their "Tribal Kat" catamaran was hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea. Christian was killed and his body dumped in the water, while his wife was held hostage for 48 hours before being rescued by the Spanish military. Before the sentence was read out, the Somalis asked for "forgiveness" for a crime they said haunted them "every day".
5. Indians Against Foreign Seafarers
A day before the first Maritime India Summit, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here tomorrow, the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) today opposed employment of foreign sailors aboard the Indian cargo ships. "NUSI is strongly opposed to the move by Indian ship owners to employ foreign seafarers on Indian ships," said its general secretary Abdulgani Serang here today. The union had communicated its stand to the Ministry of Shipping through a representation, and is hoping to hold a potential rising tide of foreign labour at bay.
6. Nigerians Push Anti-Piracy Bill
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has called for expedited action on the passage of the anti-piracy bill. The Director-General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said this at a four-day workshop organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in collaboration with the United States government, which was held in Lagos recently. The workshop, which focused on developing a robust anti-piracy bill aimed at dealing with piracy was conceived to incorporate the safety of lives at sea and the suppression of unlawful acts at sea conventions of the IMO into a comprehensive legislation package.
7. Thailand Blocks Migrant Efforts
A privately funded ship that had travelled to south-east Asia to save drowning migrants at sea has abandoned its mission after Thailand prevented the transfer of key equipment from reaching the ship, the charity’s founder has told the Guardian. The Migrant Offshore Aid Station, run by American entrepreneur Christopher Catrambone and his wife, Regina, has rescued almost 13,000 people in the Mediterranean Sea and moved one ship, the MY Phoenix, to the Andaman Sea. The Phoenix had been due to launch two unmanned helicopters, the 40-metre ship would then rescue any migrants in distress and bring them to land.
8. First European Ship Arrives
The first European ship for carrying petrochemical products moored at Pars Petrochemical Port in Assalouyeh on Tuesday. Following the arrival in Kharg Terminal of oil tankers leased by Total of France, Lukoil of Russia and France’s Cepsa, the first European oil company tied up at Assalouyeh’s Pars Petrochemical Port on Tuesday to load Iranian petrochemical products. Accordingly, the vessel, which belongs to an Italian firm, has moored at Pars Petrochemical Port at Pars Special Economic-Energy Zone in Assalouyeh and loaded the liquid chemical products produced at Assalouyeh’s petrochemical complexes.
9. Claim for Damaging Dock
A US sugar distributor has filed a suit against a ship and its owners alleging that the ship damaged a dock, rendering it unusable until it is repaired. Louisiana Sugar Refining LLC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court against "Star of Abu Dhabi", Abu Dhabi Shipping International S.A.; Fairmont Shipping (H.K.) LTD; and Japan Ship Owners’ P&I Association, citing negligence. According to the complaint, the defendants’ vessel allegedly broke free from its anchor upstream and crashed into the plaintiff’s dock. The allision was solely due to negligence of the defendants, the suit states.
10. Growing Greek Tax Revenue
Greek Vessel tax revenue grew to 17,617,781 euros in 2015, up from 13,154,712 in 2014 and 14,013,519 in 2013, while tax revenue from Greek shipowners grew to 45,430,869 euros in 2015 from 40,546,161 euros in 2014, Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis said in a report, forwarded to Parliament.Alexiadis was responding to questions made by Communist Party deputies Christos Katsotis, Nikos Karathanasopoulos, Diamanto Manolakou and Manolis Sintihakis, who requested information on taxes paid by Greek shiponwers during the last three years. 524 shipping companies participated in the voluntary tax payment scheme.
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