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Pirate Vessel Captured In Freight Shipping Lane

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Pirate Vessel Captured In Freight Shipping Lane

Post by Ted-Pencry on 11/10/2012, 20:55

INDIAN OCEAN – The waters around the Socotra archipelago which are regularly plied by container vessels and bulk freight tankers alike are sometimes referred to as ‘pirate alley’ given the number of hijacks attempted close to the Yemeni ruled island group but there will be one less criminal gang able to operate in these waters following another successful manoeuvre by the forces of Operation Atalanta this week.

Last night the EU Naval Force flagship, ITS San Giusto stopped and apprehended a skiff with 7 suspect pirates onboard. The naval vessel was carrying out counter-piracy patrols as part of Operation Atalanta and had sighted the skiff carrying a ladder and up to 20 fuel drums 180 miles east of Socotra and immediately launched its helicopter to investigate. Once at the scene, the boarding team from San Giusto boarded the vessel and apprehended the men. Speaking about the successful capture of the skiff, Rear Admiral Potts, Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force said:

“This was the first sighting of a suspect pirate vessel in the Somali Basin for over 3 months and EU Naval Force got to it before it had a chance of carrying out an attack on ships transiting the area. We knew, as the monsoon period ended this month that pirates would try their luck at sea and this is why we have constantly warned against complacency. My message to the pirates is clear – we are watching you and we plan to capture you if you put to sea. Equally, this is an indication that pirates still intend to get out to sea and all involved in countering piracy, whether they are the military or industry must remain vigilant and prepared."

After gathering intelligence, the skiff was destroyed, thus preventing the suspect pirates from using it to attack ships in the future. We await news of the captured men’s fate as, all too often in the past, the task forces operating in the region and in the coastal waters off Somalia, have released suspects due to the lack of will from international authorities to take responsibility for bringing them to justice or insufficient prima facie evidence.

Source: HSG

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