First-ever Ukrainian national charged with piracy

The man, who turned out to be a Mykolaiv resident, is believed to have seized a vessel in the Indian Ocean and demanded a ransom.

That’s according to the latest details of the investigation the SBU security service released on the website, Ukrinform reports.

As per Ukrainian security operatives, the Ukrainian had got a job with an international company dealing with protecting commercial vessels from pirates. However, instead of actually guarding the vessel assigned, the individual became the one to capture it.

Holding the ship's captain at gunpoint, the attacker conveyed to the crew his demands to alter the vessel’s course and deliver a $500,000 ransom. Negotiations with the shipowner lasted four days.

Read also: Pirate s attack tanker with Ukrainians on board off Benin

Ultimately, the negotiators have managed to persuade the pirate to surrender his weapon and release the vessel for $6,000.

Upon the perpetrator’s return to the security company’s offshore base, he seized the weapons arsenal and launched a new round of talks. This time, he demanded as much as $100,000, otherwise threatening to hurl all arms overboard.

After the company refused to comply with the ultimatum, the attacker managed to discharge of part of the arsenal before being subdued and detained. As the incident occurred on the high seas, the individual evaded being brought to justice (neutral waters are not subject to the jurisdiction of any state).

The pirate was later apprehended in Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv during a special operation by the SBU.

Read also: SBU issues entry ban to 190 foreigners affiliated with terrorist, extremist groups

Operatives said the culprit had acquired fake IDs and changed addresses several times before being arrested.

The Ukrainian has been charged under Part 1 Art. 446 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (use of violence, robbery or other hostile action against the crew of a sea vessel).

The court is yet to rule on whether to remand the suspect in custody pending pre-trial investigation.

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