Eleven Somali pirates were sentenced by the Supreme Court of Seychelles to prison terms of between 18 months to 16 years. The hijackers were arrested by the Dutch frigate HNLMS Van Amstel in May last year.
The convicted pirates are held responsible for the hijacking of a fishing boat. It turned out that they were also involved in an attack on the tanker Super Lady.
May last year saw the crew aboard the helicopter from Van Amstel sight a suspicious fishing boat. The dhow carried two smaller boats along with ladders on board. The boarding team from the Van Amstel ¬†was launched and put an end to the hijacking, in which all 17 crew held hostage were freed. On board, the team found weapons, ammunition and navigation equipment belonging to the pirates.
The evidence showed that the same group of pirates had attempted another hijack of the Malta-flagged oil tanker, Super Lady. This failed attempt involved an attack with rocket launchers and with the use of small caliber weapons fired on the tanker.
HNLMS Van Amstel was part of Operation Atalanta, an anti-piracy mission of the European Union in 2012. Currently, HNLMS Johan de Witt acts as flagship of the EU in the same area. The mission includes warships from several European countries. The command of the de Witt is in the hands of the Dutch commander Peter Lenselink.