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November 25, 2008

World's Most Pirate-Infested Waters

CNBC has a slideshow on the resurgent business of maritime piracy. India (with 10 hijackings this year) also features as part of the dubious list of "8 worst pirate-infested places on earth" headed by the Gulf of Aden (which separates Somalia from Arabia).

Piracy remains a serious threat to life and commerce, with 199 attacks tracked by the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre through the first three quarters of this year. Many more attacks, most of which take place near shore, go unreported.

...Nigeria – 24 Attacks
As the Danish container vessel Claes Maersk (pictured) sat docked on April 17, it was boarded by 10 pirates who came alongside in speed boats. The crew fled to the ship's accommodations and locked themselves inside. Two shore watchmen hired for security remained absent from the scene until the pirates had left, according to IMB, and Nigerian authorities took no action after the crew reported the attack.

Indonesia – 23 Attacks

Twelve pirates in a speedboat and armed with guns, swords and iron bars assaulted the Norwegian bulk carrier Spar Cetus (pictured) as it steamed offshore on April 13. The ship's captain raised an alarm, and Spar Cetus' crew blasted the pirates with fire hoses in an attempt to hold them at bay. After a skirmish, the pirates overcame the crew and looted the vessel for 50 minutes before fleeing.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at