Source: Seychelles Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport Press Release
As part of the continuing programme to return Somalis convicted of piracy in the Seychelles back to Somalia where they continue to serve their sentences, another group of eight convicted Somali pirates were repatriated to Puntland, Somalia on Monday 6¬†May 2013.¬†
Departing from Mah√©, Seychelles to Puntland, the transferred prisoners were flown aboard an IDC chartered plane under escort provided by specially trained police officers. The prisoners were successfully handed over to Puntland authorities to serve out the remainder of their sentences in Basaso Prison, Puntland.
The operation to repatriate the prisoners was made possible by extensive diplomatic efforts between the Seychelles Government and the Puntland Authorities and it was carried out without incident.
Minister Jo√´l Morgan said of this latest transfer, ‚ÄúThis occurred at the very moment that I was in London delivering a message to the second¬†London Conference on Somalia on behalf of President Michel. We expressed a desire to see peace and stability throughout Somalia, with Seychelles pledging to help Somalia by offering assistance in the domain of fisheries management. Returning those prisoners who have been under our custody following their conviction, under a United Nations sponsored progaramme for repatriation, demonstrates clearly our resolve that Somalis that have been convicted of piracy charges here must return to Somalia to continue to serve the remainder of their sentences.‚Äú
Puntland Minister for Justice Abdikalif Sheik Hassan, when visiting the Seychelles in March this year expressed his government‚Äôs appreciation in the way Seychelles was handling the piracy situation and conveyed his interest to strengthen the relationship between Seychelles and Puntland, Somalia.
It should be recalled that the minister had visited Seychelles after a group of twenty five (25) convicted Somalis had been transferred back to Puntland to serve out their sentences.
It is expected that another group currently incarcerated at the Montagne Poss√©e Prison will be transferred towards the end of May 2013.
The IDC flight crew and police escorts returned safely to Seychelles the same day.