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Inside the Deadly Pirate Corridor Where Migrants Escape to Europe


Interesting article regarding escaping migrants of the East Africa migrant route doing so through areas known for Piracy. “A World Bank report published in 2013 tells the story of a smuggling boat that moved Somali migrants north to Yemen from Puntland, a Somali state notorious for piracy. The smugglers rode “across the Gulf of Aden in a whaler-type vessel that was towing a second empty skiff,” according to the report. On the way back to Puntland they stumbled on a Singapore-flagged chemical tanker, the MV Pramoni, trundling eastbound through the Gulf of Aden. The smugglers “made an opportunistic and successful attack” using the skiff. They turned pirate, in other words, and forced the Pramoni to sail around the Horn of Africa to Eyl, a pirate nest on Somalia’s eastern coast. The vessel and its captive crew waited two months for a ransom to arrive”.

The article goes on to say that “Pirates on East African migrant routes have, so far, not come to the world’s attention, but their skiffs have lately gone quiet on the waters off Somalia. One reason is the presence of Western warships, including the European Union Naval Force mission, code-named Eunavfor Atalanta, which keeps the peace in the absence of a Somali navy. “If the pirate financiers thought for a moment that they could come out and catch a supertanker and get $12 million, rest assured they would be out there,” said Commander Jacqueline Sheriff, a British spokeswoman for Atalanta”.