Somali Pirates Face Trial in Seychelles: Justice Served on High Seas

The EU’s anti-piracy naval mission, Operation ATALANTA, sent six suspected Somali pirates to Seychelles for trial over an attack on the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Chrystal Arctic. The tanker was targeted in the Gulf of Aden on May 10, but the pirates were thwarted by the ship’s security team’s gunfire.

Confirmation of the transfer came from Operation ATALANTA on Wednesday. The suspects are currently in custody, awaiting trial. Before the handover, a delegation including the Minister of Internal Affairs, a representative from the National Information Sharing Coordination Centre, and members of the Seychellois Police Department visited the ATALANTA frigate, along with three officials from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The European delegation in Mauritius helped coordinate with Seychelles authorities.

Operation ATALANTA has agreements with nations in its area, like Seychelles, allowing for the prosecution of captured pirates. This process, dubbed the “Legal Finish,” involves deterrence, arrest, detention, and prosecution as per international law.

Since its launch in 2008, EUNAVFOR ATALANTA has handed over 177 suspected pirates, leading to 145 convictions. The operation is dedicated to aiding Seychelles in the legal proceedings. Earlier this year, India received 35 suspected Somali pirates for prosecution regarding the MV Ruen hijacking. The ship was rescued by the Indian Navy in March following three months of captivity.

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