Norwegian shipping veteran proposes Roman-style crackdown on piracy

OSLO — A Norwegian shipping magnate has raised a storm by suggesting that pirates captured off the Horn of Africa should be sunk with their skiffs or executed on the spot.

In a newspaper op-ed [link in Norwegian], the 79-year-old founder of the Stolt-Nielsen shipping group, Jacob Stolt-Nielsen, said modern navies should follow Roman military commander Pompey’s gloves-off approach to pirates: “Not arrest them and say, ‘naughty, naughty, shame on you,’ and release them again, but sink their boats with all hands.”

Jacqueline Smith, president of the Norwegian Seafarers Union, on Wednesday described Stolt-Nielsen’s views as “barbaric” and said killing pirates could prompt revenge against the 700 seafarers now held as hostages in Somalia.


Read also: Shipowner: ‘Shoot the pirates’

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