French Navy Transfers Five Suspected Pirates to Seychelles

FIVE SUSPECTED Somali pirates were transferred to the Seychelles police late last night by the French EU Naval Force (EU Navfor) Somalia Operation Atalanta flagship FS Siroco.

According to police superintendent Bruce Bursik, the five suspected pirates are aged between 16 and 24 years old and they were brought to the police headquarters last night for further questioning.

He added that the transfer was “successful and legal” and that “all the paper work has been done well”.
According to the EUNavfor website, on January 18, 2014 the FS Siroco apprehended the five suspected pirates believed to be responsible for an attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden a day earlier.

The website added that the oil tanker had issued a distress call to the UK Maritime Trade Operation (UKMTO) on the evening of Friday January 17, reporting to be under attack. The attack was repelled by a private armed security team embarked on board the oil tanker. The pirates’ skiff then headed to a dhow which lingered nearby.

The website continued writing that the EU Naval Force, in cooperation with other counter piracy forces, reacted quickly to this incident. A Japanese maritime patrol aircraft and a helicopter from the Japanese vessel JS Samidare, in associated support to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF/CTF 151), initially located the dhow. The EU Navfor flagship FS Siroco was then able to close distance to the dhow and launch their helicopter and boarding team.

Upon nearing the dhow, the helicopter crew and boarding team observed that people on board the dhow were throwing equipment over board, deepening the suspicion that the dhow was indeed the reported pirate mother-ship.

Once the Siroco’s team boarded the dhow, five Somali suspect pirates surrendered and were separated from the dhow’s crew and transferred to FS Siroco for further investigation.

The website added that the master’s initial statement supported the suspicion that his dhow had been pirated and his crew taken hostage several days ago off the coast of Somalia. He also stated that the suspect pirates were responsible for the attack on the oil tanker the day before.

The unsuccessful attack was the first launched by Somali pirates in 2014.

Original source: Nation Seychelles


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