Chinese Navy Hands Over Three Pirates to Somali Authorities

Zhang Tao

Source: the Reuters

(Reuters) A Chinese naval vessel on Friday handed over three suspected pirates to authorities in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region.

According to officials, a local pirate leader known as Aw Kombe was among the pirates handed over.

The three are said to have been involved in the attempted hijacking in April of the OS35, a Tuvalu-flagged cargo ship rescued off the coast of Somalia by the Chinese navy after a distress call.

The incident drew attention to the resurgence of piracy off the coast of Somalia after some five years of inactivity.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, Somali pirates in 2011, launched 237 attacks off the coast of Somalia and held hundreds of hostages.

Ocean’s Beyond Piracy, an aid group, estimated the global cost of piracy that year at about 7 billion dollars.

But attacks fell sharply after ship owners tightened security and avoided the Somali coast.

The United States Navy believes the recent spike in piracy is due to the severe drought which has hit the Horn of Africa nation.

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