by Nicolas Gros-Verheyde
(B2) A Danish-flagged oil tanker, Torm Kansas, has been attacked in the middle of the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and the Seychelles Coast on Saturday, November 9. Reportedly, a skiff of 5 armed pirates approached very closely. Shots were exchanged between the private security guards aboard the ship and the occupants of the skiff.
One pirate action group operating in the area
The attack is very similar to a recent attack on November 6 on a Hong Kong-flagged tanker and has attracted high alert among the anti-piracy force (attack on the two merchant ships by pirates groups in the area were only 140nm apart) .
The suspect skiff was quickly located by maritime patrol aircraft in the area. Given its location (in the middle of the ocean), it could not, however, be alone. If conventional procedure is observed, a mother ship or a reserve team / logistics would be near.
The case did not take long … On Sunday, November 10, the Danish warship, HDMS Esbern Snare, participating in NATOs Operation Ocean Shield, which was the closest to the incident, located two boats and arrested nine¬†suspected¬†pirates¬†in the Indian Ocean. During the night, despite the poor conditions, the Danish military were able to locate the skiff and the whaler (acting as mother ship). In the morning, the special unit of maritime investigation, supported by the¬†Lynx¬†helicopter aboard, intervened. The suspects surrendered without resistance and are being held aboard the Esbern Snare until Marcom at NATO HQ in Northwood decides on this incident. “This is both a good example of the success of the international community in detection of pirates but also encourages us to remain vigilant,” says Commodore Henning Amundsen on the Danish warship. “The root causes of piracy remain, forcing the international community to work to resolve them.”
Ocean Shield currently has four ships in the operation, in addition to the HDMS Esbern Snare, there are the Norway¬†HNoMS¬†Fridtjof Nansen (F- 310), the American USS De Wert (FFG-45) and the Ukrainian Hetman Sagaidachny UNF.
Brought to justice?
Normally all the criteria are to be met for translation before the Danish courts: on the high seas, the Danish flagged vessel attacked, arrested by Danish soldiers. If they prefer not to take charge of the problem or all the suspects have not been caught. They could then be transferred to the Seychelles authorities unless they are simply … released.
Image¬†The nine suspects arrested in a Danish ship (credit: Danish Navy)
Original Source:¬†Bruxelles 2¬†[Translated from French]