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Piracy latest: ASF letter condemns piracy and ship hijacks

Piracy latest: ASF letter condemns piracy and ship hijacks

Hong Kong: The Asian Shipowners' Forum (ASF) this week sent a letter to both the UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki - Moon and the IMO Secretary General Mr Efthimios Mitropoulos highlighting the serious concerns and continuing problem of piracy and ship hijacks in the Gulf of Aden, the Somali Basin and in the Indian Ocean. The letter "expressly condemns the criminal acts and dangers of Somali pirates on maritime security and the safety of international shipping and trade, The ASF strongly urges the UN and IMO, both in their individual and collective capacities, to act within their supreme power immediately to counter the state of lawlessness and to restore the safety of maritime navigation in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean".

S S Teo, the Chairman of the ASF Ship Navigation and Environment Committee, remarked, "Many ships and crews have been kidnapped in these 2 years by those Somali pirates for extorting heavy ransom from shipowners to secure their release. In addition to the massive ransoms paid by the shipping community, the financial burdens associated with maritime piracy include, among other things, excess fuel costs and higher insurance premiums. This is an utterly unreasonable burden and cost to the shipping industry - more decisive action must be taken immediately!" [30/06/10]

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