Piracy costs world shipping industry $9 bln a year


NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian ship owners say piracy is costing the global shipping trade more than $9 billion a year. They are calling for a maritime force to halt pirates operating off the Somalian coast in the Indian Ocean.

Anil Devli of the Indian National Shipowners Organization says increased insurance costs, longer routes, armed guards posted on board ships and ransoms paid to get hijacked vessels and crew released are pushing up costs for the global shipping industry.

Devli said Monday that the association has written to the Indian government to ask for a maritime force under U.N. command, much like the U.N. peacekeeping force, to ensure the safety and security of sea lanes in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.