(eTN) – Observant villagers alerted police and other security forces when a boat carrying 6 suspected Somali pirates landed nearby their homesteads last week. While the Somalis were trying to bargain for food and water, security operatives arrived and apprehended them, in the process also confiscating a cache of arms on their boat.
It has long been alleged that the increase of piracy cases in the Indian Ocean waters off the extensive Tanzanian coast was partly attributed to pirates making landfall in remote parts where they don’t see signs of much human activity, so that they can restock water and food supplies and then return to the ocean to capture yachts, ships, and cargo vessels, as they slow down while going into port or else slowly depart from Tanzania. In the past, such allegations had been denied by authorities, at times asking media personnel to bring evidence or going as far as suggesting such reports were anti-Tanzanian propaganda. This recent capture, however, will undoubtedly make future reports more credible and maybe have police take swifter action, should more such boats be spotted to land on Tanzanian territory.
The arrest took place last Thursday evening, after the Somalis were first seen in the early afternoon trying to land their boat but struggling with rough waters. After their capture, the alleged pirates also claimed a second boat had capsized in rough sea before, likely drowning another 5 while they were out hunting for opportunistic targets to attack, hijack, and take back to Somalia for ransom.
The 6 arrested men will be produced in court this week and are certainly facing charges for entering the country illegally and being in possession of illegal weapons, while other aspects of the case are being investigated aimed to bring further charges against them.