Incident Details: On the 16th May (no timings given) a merchant vessel reported irregular activity of three Dhows in position 1403N 05135E being boarded by Indian Navy assets and confiscating a cache of weapons. Further to this, on the 17th May at 0530 UTC, UKMTO received a sighting from a merchant vessel that was approached by 7 skiffs at position 14 41.25N 051 03.43E this being within 90nm to the previous sighting (Source: UKMTO).
Intelligence Comment: It is assessed as a possibility that the Dhows sighted on the 16th may have been a PAG supply boat in connection to the skiff sighting on the 17th. The two incidents were within 90nm of each other. The skiffs each had 4/5 POB and travelled within 1NM from both port and starboard quarters. This could be a display of a swarming tactic in which pirates are observing MV for any defensive measures adopted. The skiffs preceded to follow the MV for 30 minutes and then stopped. The area of the skiff sighting is a known fishing area however it is common in such area for pirates to pose as fisherman. Further to this, the lack of security in Yemen has given rise to increased operations by terrorist groups competing for power in port cities such as Al Mukalla. There is an ongoing threat of terrorism at sea off the coast of Yemen, caution should be exercised in this area