Monday, January 28, 2013

Somali Pirates of Freighter Sent for Prosecution as Specific Threat to Westerners Issued

Shipping Safer but Somaliland More Dangerous than ever says Foreign Office
Shipping News Feature

SOMALIA – The twelve suspected pirates arrested in a combined assault by the forces of NATO and EU Navfor which we reported in detail earlier this month have been retained in custody despite fears from shipping stakeholders that they would merely be returned to their native shores as have so many before them. Following an attack on a Panamanian freighter on the 5th January the twelve were apprehended and aboard the EU Naval Force warship FS Surcouf until Friday (25th January).

Six of the suspects were seen fleeing the attack in a fast craft carrying an assortment of weaponry. When apprehended their vessel was being towed by another ship bearing the other six men and all twelve have now been transferred into the care of the Mauritian authorities to await prosecution.

Despite the dramatic reduction in successful pirate attacks of late due mainly to the tactics of the Navies involved and the presence of armed guards on many of the ships today the Foreign Office Travel Advice service, which already warns British nationals against any travel to Somalia, issued a warning of a new and specific threat to Westerners in Somaliland, that part of the region to the north of the rest of Somalia bordering the Gulf of Aden.

Although the Foreign Office would give no indication as to the precise nature of the threat it has made it very clear that any Westerners remaining in the area to leave immediately and new travel advice can be found on the FCO website HERE.

Photo: One of the handcuffed prisoners is led to a bus for transfer to gaol.