In the course of the recent anti-piracy operation, where the Indian Navy apprehended 16 pirates, a new pirate tactic was discovered.
The pirates led the Navy to believe they had surrendered, by forcing the hostages to stand on the deck with their arms raised.
“Seeing this, the Navy officers ceased fire because they assumed the pirates had surrendered”. However, as soon as they approached the pirates opened fire again.
The “fake surrender” is the oldest trick in the book – but it does highlight the fact that pirates are constantly looking to innovate. Other recent tactical switches involve:
Stealth – Pirates have been using motherships to launch highly visible decoy skiffs. These approach the ship with the aim of drawing fire and attention. At the same time pirates have moved towards the vessel in camouflaged skiffs, trying to gain access on an unprotected side of the vessel.
Swarming – The capture of the “MV Sinar Kudus” last month gave a concerning view of both new tactics, but also a new capability. Using a mothership as a base, pirates were able to “swarm” the vessel with as many as 50 attackers. A small detachment of just four armed guards would inevitably struggle to maintain security in the face of such overwhelming odds.