Pirates Use New MO
While apprehending 16 pirates during a recent anti-piracy operation, the Indian Navy discovered that the pirates had adopted a new modus operandi.
Quaiser Khalid, a Deputy Commissioner of the Indian Police, revealed that the pirates led the Navy into believing that they had surrendered by forcing the hostages to stand on deck with their arms raised. According to the Khalid “Seeing this, the Navy officers ceased fire because they assumed the pirates had surrendered. However, as soon as they approached the pirates’ trawler ‘Morteza’, to apprehend them, the pirates opened fire again.”
During the ensuring crossfire barrels of fuel which were stored on the trawler’s deck caught fire. “Seeing that there was no escape, they jumped in skiffs and continued fighting. Only after the Navy sank the skiffs, did the pirates surrender,” said Khalid.
Police sources have confirmed that 2 of the 18 crew members of the hijacked trawler were killed. The first was murdered by the pirates when they captured the trawler last November while the second was killed by the pirates during the crossfire. “They killed the second crew member named Adaam, to scare the hostages. We believe that both deceased were Pakistani,” said Khalid.
The police have also stated that they believe that there were more than 16 pirates in the original group who hijacked the Iranian trawler close to the Seychelles. “We believe that some of the pirates are aboard another hijacked Iranian trawler ‘Khalil’ and are using it as their mother ship,” said Khalid.
The pirates were charged and will be processed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (1967), which is generally invoked against terrorists.
U.S. Navy photo of burning pirate skiff by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky
Mark Lowe, Thursday 31 March 2011