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Pirates Returned To Somalia, Arrested

Somali pirates arrested on arrival

Sep 09, 2009

As reported in yesterday's update on piracy situation in the Indian Ocean, a Dash 8 aircraft was being temporarily detained at Nairobi's international airport upon arrival from the Seychelles.

The passengers were about two dozen pirates caught in Seychelloise waters by coalition naval forces and deported, or 'repatriated' as it was put by the goverrnment in Victoria. No information is available on why the pirates were not being prosecuted there and allowed to leave.

The pirates were permitted to fly out of the country on Sunday and a Kenyan air charter company supplied a Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft for the group.

However, it now appears that after being released in Kenya and cleared for their homebound flight to Somalia, they have been arrested upon their arrival along with aircraft crew.

Kenya considers this as the 'smart way out' of the potential diplomatic minefield, which the arrival of two dozen pirates has created for Kenyan authorities.

Few details are presently available but it appears that authorities in the self proclaimed Somali area of Puntland have thrown the book at the pirates and the crew, all of whom are now being held under various charges including piracy, extorting ransom and illegal entry.

It cannot be ruled out though that Kenyan authorities made a deal with their Somali / Puntland counterparts to get rid of the pirates and have them face justice 'back home', which could be drakonian in its final outcome.

It was also learned before filing this report that apparently two added passengers who had joined the flights in Nairobi, likely to be a British and Australian citizens with a third of yet unknown nationality, were also detained along with the pilots on charges of illegal entry and smuggling pirates into the country.

Somali pirates arrested on arrival
Courtesy NATO/Carlos Dias

Source: Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Ambassador

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