More arrests in operation against pirates-● As UK leads delegation in anti-piracy talks


The three men identified themselves as Somali. They were travelling in a 6-metre skiff with several barrels of fuel and water onboard.

“The Seychelles Coast Guard vessel PS Andromache was alerted to reports of the presence of a Somali boat in the area by the EU naval forces Atalanta on Thursday as several pirate attacks had been reported in the vicinity,” a statement from the Office of the President said.

It added the Andromache arrested the three men on Saturday afternoon.
President James Michel congratulated the Seychelles Coast Guard for successfully tracking down the vessel and detaining the suspected pirates.

“We are exceedingly encouraged by this latest suspected pirate arrest. The arrest is further indication that a coordinated approach is an effective means of combating piracy in the region,” said President Michel.

He said the joint effort of all the partner countries in the region is ensuring that the Seychelles EEZ is safe.
“The western Indian Ocean is a large expanse of water,  however this arrest and last week’s arrest of nine suspected pirates by the Seychelles Coast Guard in a joint operation with the Spanish, French and Indian Navy, all show that  international cooperation in the fight against piracy is really working,” he said.

The Andromache was expected in Port Victoria around 6.00pm yesterday. On their arrival the three suspects were due to be examined by health practitioners and detained by the Seychelles Police Force. They are expected to be charged this week.

Saturday's operation followed the arrest of nine pirates believed to have attacked the Italian cruise-liner MSC Melody. Those pirates were arrested within the Seychelles EEZ last week and are due to appear in court on May 12.

Meanwhile, members of an international contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia called on senior government officials to consolidate Seychelles engagement in joint efforts to combat piracy.

The group was established under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1851, adopted in December 2008.
They said they recognised that recent incidents have seen the threat of piracy move into Seychelles waters.

“We also recognise the impact that piracy has on the commercial and tourist industries in Seychelles and acknowledge the position of the Government of Seychelles following the recent kidnap of Seychellois citizens by Somali pirates,” they said in a statement.

As part of the work of the contact group the United Kingdom led the delegation to the region to assess the capacity of states to respond to piracy.

The United Nations official responsible for an European Commission-funded counter piracy programme also visited Seychelles to see if his programme could consider any assistance.

“We hope that by enhancing relations with the Republic of Seychelles we might be able to add to the considerable assistance that the Republic of Kenya has provided to counter piracy operations in the region,” the statement said, expressing appreciation
“for the hospitality afforded by President James Michel and for the assistance offered by the Republic of Seychelles so far”.



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