Fijian police have been told that four men apparently killed at sea in a video posted on YouTube were most likely Somali pirates shot by fishermen after a failed hijacking attempt.
(Maritime Security News Note: I’ve decided to remove the actual video from this page, as it’s deeply graphic. If you wish to view it, you can visit YouTube and search for: ‘Fishing vessel fijian crew gettin shot, out side fiji waters’)
The police have asked Interpol for help verifying a video which appears to show the brutal killing of men at sea.
A graphic video posted on YouTube in Suva yesterday shows four men being shot as they cling to debris in the ocean.
The ABC reports gunshots come from one of several boats surrounding the men, and blood is seen in the water.
Men on the boat, which is reportedly a tuna fishing vessel, are seen laughing and posing for photographs at the end of the video. The video’s contents have not been verified.
The YouTube post says the victims were Fijian and were shot just outside Fijian waters.
However, Fiji Tuna Boat Owners Association president Graham Southwick said Taiwanese boat owners and contractors in Suva had told police they believed the footage related to a failed hijacking off Somali last year.
“They … said we know about this incident, it’s a very famous incident and this didn’t happen in Fiji, it happened off the coast of Somalia,” said Mr Southwick.
“And the graphic pictures you see of people gunned in the water are not Fijians, but Somali pirates that attempted a hijack of some Taiwanese vessels that attempted a hijack that backfired and they all got gunned down,” he said.
“The debris floating in the water is the wreckage of a Somali pirate boat that got rammed by one of the Taiwanese boats.”
Police in Suva say there is no clear evidence to identify the victims, or pinpoint where and when the apparent murders took place.
Maritime Security News Note:
Is this an old video of a crew summarily executing pirates at sea? It’s very hard to tell from the shaky video footage. One thing is certain, a full investigation needs to be conducted and the perpetrators brought to justice. The fact that this video is now circulating means that Somali pirates will see it, too. Just how that will affect the lives of the hostages they currently hold is anyone’s guess. Equally, should they capture a Taiwanese vessel in the near future, then they may well take their revenge.