Prior to the trial of nine suspected pirates in the Seychelles courts, a meeting was held between the head of a regional organization to combat piracy and the Danish command chief of NATO’s anti-piracy operation Ocean Shield.
Under the command of Commodore Aage Buur Jensen, Danish warship Esbern Snare was in port in Port Victoria, Seychelles. As commander in chief of operations, Cdre Jensen had an opportunity to meet with the head of REFLECS3, Joseph Bibi.
REFLECS3 is a multi-disciplinary, multi-national organization working to combat piracy.¬†The organization consists of members from several countries around the Indian Ocean and international partners.
Impressed by the Danish facilities
A meeting between the Danish command chief and the head of REFLECS3 took place a few days before the trial of nine alleged pirates, who had been held on Esbern Snare in November 2013 and were handed over to the Seychelles for trial, Cdre Aage Buur Jensen spoke about how Denmark, over the years, had developed methods for collecting evidence against suspected pirates.
He also invited representatives from REFLECS3 aboard the Esbern Snare, where among other things, they saw the conditions under which suspected pirates are detained on Esbern Snare.¬†Guests from REFLECS were very impressed with what they saw, and the crew’s professional approach.¬†Aage Buur Jensen says of the meeting, “Coordination and sharing of knowledge between both the international naval forces and regional actors is crucial in efforts to combat piracy.¬†It was rewarding to get a glimpse of the joint planning principles that underlie REFLECS3’s work.”
The prosecution of pirates is part of the overall maritime security picture, which also includes regional capacity building and fight against other maritime crime such as drugs smuggling.
Witnesses in the trial
Witnesses in the trial include¬†the boarding crew of HDMS Esbern Snare giving evidence in trial of 9 suspected Somali pirates¬†held on Esbern Snare¬†in November 2013¬†after they had tried to hijack the Danish flagged vessel Torm Kansas and a Chinese merchant ship, MV Zhongj.¬†Later in November 2013, they were handed over to the authorities in the Seychelles for prosecution.
Denmark has a transfer agreement with Seychelles to which it has repeatedly transferred suspected pirates.
During Esbern Snare time in port in Port Victoria several crew members testified in the trial of the suspected pirates.¬†There are no convictions in the case at present.
Esbern Snare has continuously been deployed in NATO’s anti-piracy operation Ocean Shield since October 2013. Denmark’s Cdre Aage Buur Jensen as command chief had led Operation Ocean Shield since June 2014 and is expected to lead the operation to the end of 2014.
Original source [in Danish]¬†Danish Admiralty