Somalia: Top Somali Pirate Commander quits after decline to the Industry
A top Somali Pirate Commander has announced that he has renounced from Piracy, after a massive fall down to the profits from the illicit profession.
The Pirate Gang leader, Isse Yuluh, who hails from Puntland’s Bari region, said that he has decided to leave the job after eight years in which he generated millions of dollars in ransom from kidnapped ships.
He asked the Regional administration and International Community to forgive him.
Successful hijackings have been declining steadily since 2012, as Maritime organizations reports suggest that is due to concerted patrolling by an international coalition of warships and the increasing use of armed private security guards on merchant ships.
‘’ From today, I would like to announce that I have renounced from piracy and am ready to encourage my fellow comrades and other youths involved in this dirty business to leave too,’’ he said in a local radio interview on Thursday.
He is thought to be the mastermind of the kidnapping of a Danish family in 2011, who were later on released after the payment of $3m ransom.
Puntland security forces almost captured him in a raid, but he and other pirate militia managed to escape.
The former Pirate Commander called the Puntland authorities to create Job opportunities for those who leave piracy.
Last year, a top Pirate kingpin, Mohamed ‘’Afweyne’’ announced also that he quit the business. But him and a former regional President of Himin & Heeb, Mohamed Tiicey, were arrested in Brussels by the Belgium authorities. They are charged for hijacking cases , especially kidnapping of a Belgian dredger ship which was captured in 2009 and released on million dollars of Ransom.
Maritime Security News Note:
Very interesting news about Isse Yuluh (also called Isse Yulux). Yuluh led the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) a merry dance in 2012 and is one of the most successful pirate commanders in the country. He and his gang are responsible for the last two major hijackings and ransoms; the MT Royal Grace and the MT Smyrni, which was freed for a reported $9 million in March 2013.
In 2012, the PMPF pursued Yuluh across Puntland in a manhunt which ultimately saw potential breaches of the UN arms embargo during an attack on one of Yuluh’s pirate compounds. On June 6th, the PMPF attacked several pirate vehicles (pick up trucks with heavy machine guns mounted on them) in Bali-Dhiddin village, in the Bari region of Puntland.
Needless to say, Yuluh escaped their clutches, although at least one of his men died during the assault.
Since then, the rumour has been that Yuluh has dabbled in arms trafficking, selling weapons to militia and possibly even al Shabaab, as well as hiring his men out as armed protection to local fishermen.
News that he plans to retire from piracy is certainly welcome as far as the shipping industry is concerned, given his success rate. However, as I’ve noted previously on this blog, pirates are only pirates when they’re at sea. When they’re on land, they’re criminals, and it’s hard to believe that Yuluh is turning his back on crime entirely.