those wearing black can start kicking doors all around
The C-130 H aircraft dispatched by the EU-NAVFOR had reached the area during daybreak. They found MT Malaysian Development steaming northwest towards the coast of Somalia. They reported the sighting and stayed airborne to provide support for the two frigates following the tanker from a far.
The pirates had made their demands to the shipping company for a ransom worth USD7 million in cash for the release of the ship and her crew.
A man approaches Abdel Umar when he dragged his skiff to the shore. He was a good friend of him and they had fought together at when they shot the US army helicopter. He havent seen Farouq Hussein in years.
"what brought u here my old friend..?"
"i have a job for you..i know its illegal but at least you can support your family with some money..buy them good food and clothes for this coming Eid.."persuade Farouq
"...oh yes Farouq,i would love to but i feel its better for me to stay away from pirating.And yet this body can still take on the strain of heaving up fish nets.."he told.
"oh dont be like that Umar...its only for a few days.They need a substitute when they brought the ship here.After they got their rest you can leave and i will pay you myself..USD 20 000.00 for two days.."
"that much..?" he stare in bewilderment.
Farouq Hussein leave his friend to do the thinking. They will meet again at the market coffee shop when Umar had make up his mind.
There is nothing the crew could do but sat on the floor. They weren`t allowed to go to their cabins and werent given any liberties of moving around the bridge either. They also eat on the bridge. The cook and his stewards prepare meals for atleast 42 person. Pirates included. The Sheikh himself commanded MT Malaysian Development.It seems that he was a mariners but leave his carrer for a more lucrative pirating business. The trawler followed closely behind. They saw the C-130H but did nothing since they were higher up. If they went too low then the pirates will start firing at it.
The pirates were almost everywhere onboard the ship. At least 4 men were at the forecastle, 5 at the aft station, and the remaining inside the accomodation and engine room. The C-130H made her last flypast before heading back to Manama. She was relieved by a USN P-8A maritime patrol aircraft. He was directed to provide mission coordination with the dispatched warships taskforce warships.
KD Lekiu was instructed to lead the assault against the pirates if the broke the rule of engagement. The Super Lynx were dispatched together with her NH-90 counter part from the French Navy frigate Surcouf of the EU-NAVFOR taskforce. They conduct surveillance and reconnaisance on MT Malaysian Development.
The RMN insisted to take out the pirates before they reach Somalia territorial waters. MT Malaysian Development still had another 200 miles from the coast before she was taken under full control of the pirates. A rescue plan were revised and the naval special operation unit will conduct raids on the tanker to take her back.
But further political dispute meant the operation cant be carried out and the fate of MT Malaysian Development will be similar to her counterpart the MT Bunga Melati Dua and 5. Further reconnaisance by helicopter were conducted on the following days.
On day 4 the Sheikh become frantic when his demand for USD 7 million were turned down for a much lower terms. It is when RMN Super Lynx were flying close to the ship when one of the pirates open fire. The helicopter werent hit but the pirate were shredded by gunshot he took from the NH90 had made things worst.
The RMN had decided that action had to be taken and the ship had to be liberated before things get out of hand. This time KD Kelantan, the Kedah clas NGPV were also came to assistance when she was relieved by USN destroyer.
It was in the darkness of day 5 of the hijacking when four RMN special operation squad approach the ship with RHIB and helicopters. The sniper sucessfully took out the guards at the aft station giving a clear entry for the boarding team. Another team had captured Natalya 32 and kept her crew from getting away.
Armed with MP5SD and integral supressor the team scatterd troughout the accomodation to look for the pirates. One by one they took them out and silently went to the control rooms. Two of the pirates were shot dead at the lounge while another 3 inside the galley. Bodycounts increased and the special ops had the maintained the element of surprised.
The Sheikh didnt took any attention to the helicopter since they always fly close to the ship, but not to his knowledge, his men were taken out one by one. He was inside the chief officer cabin watching DVD on his new flat screen tv when a he was shot at point blanc by the special operation personnel. Only the men at the forecastle were remained unharmed and they also dont have the slightest idea of the current situation.
The engine room were re-taken and the engineer were released. He took over engine control and stopped the ship. The Sheikh henchmen on the bridge, notice the sudden changes to the engine speed called his boss with no return answer. He ordered one men to look for the Sheikh and that was the last time he saw him before he got a headshot while coming down to the staircase.
Mens at the forecastle were told to come back to the accomodation for sensing something had gone wrong. The Sheikh and the men at the aft station havent answered his radio call. He went outside to look for the men and that was his last view. RMN sniper took him out when he went outside to the brdgewing.
Captain Alex saw the opportunity and grabbed the only men inside the bridge. Helped by the crew, they managed to stripped him off his weapon and took him hostage. The RMN special operation personnel went up to the bridge and the seize control. The ship was liberated and the pirates were either dead or aprehanded.
The drama ended on the 6th day of hijacking. Only 8 out of 17 Somali were alive in the assault including the crew from Natalya 32. They had no idea when the Navy went onboard and they had a clear picture on how their Sheikh deid. The pirates were handed over to EU-NAVFOR Taskforce. The French would likely to extradite and prosecute them in France. The dead bodies were managed according to Muslim tradition and were given an ocean burial ceremony.
Meanwhile, the gun ridden and rocket battered MT Malaysian Development were directed to continue her voyage to Port Suez escorted by KD Lekiu. There she will be attended for repairs at the floating docks and her cargo will be transferred to her sistership MT Malaysian Enhancement. It will be a month before she could go back to sea.
The crew were relieved from duties and called back home.For them it was the longest 6 days in their life and they thanked god that they werent taken hostage for a much longer period just like what happened to their fellow conterparts during the Melati incidents.
On the coastal village in Somalia, Umar had decided no to join his friend. He rather work under the scorching sun than weilding weapons to those foreign men. He doesnt want his family to suffer if something happened since it is his responsibility to support the family.
"Thank you for the offer Farouq my friend..but i wont..i`ll stay where is should be.."
The success of RMN taskforce had become national headlines in every mainstream and underground media. Fanfare was made by the politicians and so called analyst alike, bullshitting the public acting like they know what happened.
EU-NAVFOR praised the action taken by RMN but warns of the probability of the pirates hijacking Malaysian registered ship had double. The same statement were made by the IMO secretary general.
RMN continue their operations in the gulf. KD Mahawangsa was relieved by the naval auxiliary ship Bunga Mas 5 and KD Selangor as her escort for the next 3 month period. Change over of guards were conducted at Manama,Dubai. Outgoing ships had their provisions and fuel topped up there and preparing themselves to go back home. The relieving ships proceed to the gulf area to provide support and escort for Malaysian and foreign ships.
Although not expecting this kind of situation, Captain Alex defenitely were reliefed when the high seas drama was over with no injuries or deaths on his crew.
But one thing for sure. Captain Alex Cheang is coming back home for Christmas much earlier this year.
-come to sea and see for yourself-