A British minister has officially opened a regional anti-piracy body in the Seychelles that will help in the fight against serious organised maritime crime.
Alistair Burt, a minister in the Foreign Office, said the new Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution and Intelligence Coordination Centre (RAPPICC), represented an important milestone in the fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean.
The RAPPICC is expected to bring in experts from around the world to share intelligence that will tackle the king-pins and financiers of piracy.
“This centre will play a vital role in targeting the heart of the piracy operations: the leaders and financiers of piracy who feel as if they are able to act with impunity,” said Burt.
“By targeting those at the top the RAPPICC will perform a vital and unique function, and will support regional capacity in tackling serious organised maritime crime in Somalia and across the Indian Ocean.”
The UK has committed ¬£550,000 towards the construction of the centre and will provide its first co-director and another officer.
Participants in the centre will come from the UK, the Seychelles, the US, Tanzania, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Australia, INTERPOL and EUNAVFOR.