Bad guys pirates and shipowners, and good guys Ban Ki-moon and Koji Sekimizu

July 1, 2013 at 03:12 by Mikhail Voytenko in Opinion

Lloyd accused OBP in falsified figures, but who’s behind OBP, if not Koji Sekimizu and Ban Ki-moon personally?

Pirate Victims Suffer Twice

June 25th, 2013

According to the latest report on the human costs of piracy, two-thirds of Filipinos are paid late and many are forced to sign quit-claims after they have been held by pirates.

The Human Cost of Maritime Piracy 2012 is produced by the Oceans Beyond Piracy project of the One Earth Future Foundation with the International Maritime Bureau and the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme, and the group interviewed several Filipino seafarers and their wives about the impact of piracy on their personal finances.

Many felt betrayed and angry that they were not compensated properly for the turmoil they endured, and following a piracy attack only 23% of those questioned were paid without delay.

As we celebrate the Day of the Seafarer – some should be seemingly hanging their heads in shame.


Of course all of the above is outrageous, and of course some should hang their heads in shame, but who exactly is to be ashamed? It is understood without saying, that the shipowners – those greedy bastards – should be ashamed, who else?

I think there are people and institutions around, which have much more reasons to feel shame, than the shipowners. Let’s look at those figures:

Number of seamen who went through Somalia pirates captivity:

Released seamen 2013 - 48

Released seamen 2012 – 237

Released seamen 2011 – 615

Released seamen 2010 – 375

Total 1,275

Included only crews of ocean-going vessels (including fishing vessel) with valid IMO and known history.

Now, if all those released were to be paid one-time compensating sum of $10,000, total cost of the compensation would be 1,275 x $10,000 = $12,750,000 – for the 2010-2013 period. Who’s to pay? Let’s look at other figures for years 2010-2012:

Three-year cost of Somalia pirates prosecuting:


Three year cost of organization(symposiums, conferences, working groups, so on and so forth):

$ 69,883,953

Total: $ 132,460,540

That’s the sum which was paid by international community to mostly, the UN, in a belief that it’s the cost of tackling the Somalia piracy.

Does anyone remember what were those conferences about? Or what those working groups did? Somalia piracy is down thanks to private armed guards and to events which took place in Somalia. Private armed guards were paid for by the greedy shipowners. Judging from scanty news coming from Somalia, the inside resistance to piracy was a result of local authorities and communities actions, with again, no traces of international symposiums or the UN working groups influence.

Especially disgusting are the international conferences, attended by mostly, professional members of any conference on any topic, they are called to make the crowd. They’ve been settled in five-star hotels, they’ve been eating excellent foods and drinking expensive wines, but the result of their meetings was such a despicable nil, that even industry media, with all its subservience, couldn’t but mock them. They’ve wasted almost 70 millions dollars on that conferences shame and scam, couldn’t the UN share some of those millions with the victims of the piracy?

Pirates are a privileged stock in comparison with their victims, too, they’ve been granted with $62,5 million wasted on their prosecution.

The ITF established the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme MPHRP, and spent on it in 2012 more than $1,5 million. MPHRP is busy with printing and distributing booklets which explain to seamen, how to behave when under attack, when captured and after the release. ITF didn’t forget relatives, too – they’re assisted with guidelines as to how to console themselves while their relatives are kept in pirates captivity.

It’s all very useful of course, but why not ask seamen who suffered pirates captivity, and their relatives, too, what they’d prefer, the assistance of professional psychiatrist, the guidelines on the behavour, or cash?

One may ask why the international community has to pay to the seafarers. Answer is simple – because international community failed its duty or liability, to protect shipping. Because international community allocated funds to tackle the piracy, but those funds were wasted on ridiculously useless conferences and other schemes worked out by the UN to consummate money it gets, under any pretext, be it piracy problem, or smoking, or whatever else. Because international community just doesn’t control the UN and UN-related organizations like IMO, and prefers to turn a blind eye on openly criminal and corrupted practices of the UN.

If an outsider will try to understand, what the modern piracy is about, with the help of the materials he’d find in media and websites of the related organizations, he’d come to conclusion, that there are two culprits in a modern piracy phenomen, who’re to be blamed for pirates victims – seamen - misfortunes. One is pirates, another one is shipowners. Pirates capture their victims, shipowners do the rest, by not paying ransoms immediately without negotiations, and later, by being too greedy with compensation payments.

There are bad guys, pirates and shipowners, there are victims, seafarers, and there is a fourth party involved, an army of knights in shining armour – UN, IMO and all maritime organizations, ITF, Navies and politicians. They valiantly fight the pirates, taking the merit of reducing the piracy exclusively to themselves.

The shipowners meanwhile, are responsible for everything and owe to everybody. Nobody owns anything to them, least of all knights.

In his annual Day of the Seafarer message, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said about the need to safeguard well-being and working conditions of seafarers. He was joined by even more virtuous and shining knight, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon himself, who urged everyone to spare a thought for those courageous seafarers, men and women.

I’d burst into tears reading their speeches, be the truth unknown to me. The truth is, those two guys don’t give a damn for seafarers, be it otherwise, they’d at least provide some kind of money compensation to the seafarers who suffered pirates captivity, some small percentage of the international funds they wasted on “fighting the piracy” scam, on infamous conferences and “working groups”. And here’s the proof to my accusation:

The remark about somebody hanging their heads in shame is taken from the Shiptalk.com website. That same website earlier published the speeches of both Koji Sekimizu and Ban Ki-moon. A little bit later Shiptalk published a remark criticizing, not for the first time, the infamous Oceans Beyond Piracy reports on piracy:

Data from Lloyd’s List Intelligence is being used to reinforce criticism that insurance figures from Oceans Beyond Piracy’s latest report on the Human Cost of Maritime Piracy 2012 are incorrect.


I for my part, can add some more figures to reinforce criticism even more. OBP wrote in its Report, that, “Using OBP’s 2011 cost formula for East Africa,18 it appears that $275 million is spent annually on war risk premiums”

Their East Africa formula gives an average War Risk insurance cost as $8,600. The number of insured transits in Gulf of Guinea then, is $275,000,000 : 8600 = 31976. According to OBP data, Gulf of Guinea traffic is almost twice as big as the traffic via Suez Canal. Actual figure, provided by Lloyd’s List Intelligence, shows 7,606 vessels entered the region last year.

Shiptalk failed to notice the irony of it all, of all the remarks I mentioned, when taken together. Who’s behind OBP and its “incorrect figures”, if not our valiant knights, Koji Sekimizu and Ban Ki-moon, personally? They are involved in initiating, supporting and propagating the lies and falsifications concocted by OBP. But twisted logics of media, somehow, lay all the faults and shames on the shipwoners.

All the materials with regards to the piracy, which are accessible and open to public (and media), when scrutinized, point a finger at the UN, World Bank, IMO and maritime organizations, as world-scale fraudsters. I studied two of the OBP’s reports, both are a shocking collection of lies and falsifications. Anyone can do the same, and I’m sure, he’ll come up with adding more details to my list of found “incorrect figures”.

So, who are to hang their heads in shame? Shipowners, or the guys from the UN, IMO and maritime organizations? I think the answer is obvious. But there is one big problem, though. Those guys can’t hang their heads in shame, because they don’t have any shame. 

Voytenko Mikhail

July 1 13

  Bad guys pirates and shipowners, and good guys Ban Ki-moon and Koji Sekimizu

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