BY MOHAMMED MHINA
Tanzania has proposed the set up of regional law enforcement mechanisms and judicial systems that will enable effective investigation and prosecution of piracy crimes. This is because pirate networks operate beyond border lines in well coordinated networks that demand equally sophisticated approaches conducted in an integrated manner amongst the East Africa region partner.
‚ÄúThese criminal gangs coordinate and operate beyond borders‚Ä¶this demands equally sophisticated and effective forms of cooperation among African countries and the world at large.‚Äù
The call was made by the Zanzibar‚Äôs Minister of State in the Second Vice President‚Äôs Office, Mohammed Aboud during his presentation at the Maritime Security Operational meeting in Zanzibar early this week.
‚ÄúGiven the magnitude of piracy in our region, there is an urgent need to establish robust law enforcement mechanisms and functional judicial systems to deal with piracy,‚Äù he went on to advise.
He advocated the need to formulate regional strategies that will give a clear roadmap on combating piracy and other crimes.
The meeting brought together investigators from Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, and Somaliland (Galmudug and Puntland). There were also European prosecutors and regional anti-piracy prosecutors as well as staff from the Intelligence Co-ordination Centre (RAPPICC). They shared information about ongoing maritime piracy investigations and prosecution. Apart from that, the meeting also set about the creation of the first Joint Investigative Team (JIT) involving Tanzania, Kenya and Seychelles.
This will enable regional investigators and prosecutors to share as well as review key evidence and identify ways to better coordinate efforts in targeting suspected pirates captured at sea as stressed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2077.
Interpol‚Äôs Executive Director of Police Services, Jean-Michel Louboutin, encouraged greater use of the world police body‚Äôs global tools and services to further build on the success already achieved.
‚ÄúInterpol‚Äôs maritime piracy database, which is unique in the world, includes identifiers of pirates and financers as well as other essential information critical to solving cases and linking investigations,‚Äù said Louboutin.
As such, he agreed with Minister of State Aboud that: ‚ÄúTo fully benefit from Interpol‚Äôs operational tools and services to further transnational investigations, countries need to ensure that the systematic operational coordination and exchange of information becomes the rule rather than the exception.‚Äù
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN