Somali Pirates Steal Russian Tanks

It is interesting to think about the lack of defenses used to guard a ship full of weapons, including tanks. The BBC reports:

The Ukrainian foreign ministry said the captain of the Faina cargo ship had reported being surrounded by three boats of armed men on Thursday afternoon

Defence Minister Yury Yekhanurov confirmed that 33 Russian T-72 tanks and “a substantial quantity of ammunition” were aboard.

The Faina sailed under a Belize flag and seems to have had no armed support or defenses. The US and Ethiopia can not be happy about this. It is no small problem, however, especially with the Somalis now managing a substantial budget for attacks while the US is all tied up with Iraq, Georgia and facing serious economic shortfalls:

Pirates have seized dozens of ships from the major shipping routes near Somalia’s coast in recent months.

Senior UN officials estimate the ransoms they earn from hijacking ships exceed $100m (£54m) a year.

This is all too familiar. I seem to remember the peak of the British empire came as Pirates increasingly challenged them on the high seas.

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