While patroling the waters of Seychelles and off the coast of Somalia, 9 suspected pirates were picked up yesterday by the the Royal Netherlands Ship, the HNLMS Tromp. The ship is engaged in surveillance activities as part of the NATO Operation Ocean Shield.
The suspects were handed over to Seychelles authorities for temporary custody yesterday evening for their transfer to Seychelles International Airport where they were handed back to the Dutch authorities and boarded a military flight to the Netherlands. There, the 9 suspected pirates will face trial for acts of piracy committed in the Indian Ocean.
“We congratulate the Netherlands for taking the bold step of prosecuting suspected pirates on home ground, and we thank them for their invaluable role in Operation Ocean Shield,” said the Minister for Home Affairs Mr. Joel Morgan, “This assisted transfer is an example of how we can cooperate with our international partners and facilitate their efforts by playing our part, big or small, and offer whatever assistance we can in bringing pirates operating in our seas to justice.”
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Jean-Paul Adam has said that the transfer of these 9 suspected pirates is a clear indication of the increased efforts of all partners in the fight against piracy. He added that the decision to prosecute in the Netherlands is also a strong message of support for the sharing of the burden between countries of the region and those which are involved in anti-piracy operations.
The Seychelles is already one of the most active states in the fight against piracy and has warmly congratulated the forces concerned on taking concrete steps towards reducing the threat of piracy in the region.
Seychelles has already successfully prosecuted over 40 piracy cases based on legislation which it passed last year. Each case for prosecution is carefully assessed according to guidelines issued by the Attorney General’s Office where Seychelles accepts to undertake prosecutions based on the location of the attacks in question, whether Seychelles interests were at stake, and whether there is the local capacity to undertake trials.