Seychelles a ‘shining example’ in the fight against piracy


29-April-2013

The exercise involved a mock interception of a suspected pirate skiff in Seychelles waters by the combined efforts of EU NAVFOR and the SCG. The Coast Guard vessel Topaz and a helicopter from French Navy ship, LHD Tonnerre, operating under EU NAVFOR flag, jointly intervened against a suspected pirate skiff.

The purpose of the exercise was to enhance coordination and cooperation between the SCG and EU NAVFOR as well as further develop the SCG in procedures for evidence handling.
Admiral Jacques Launay, head of the EUCAP Nestor mission, explained that the aim of the exercise was not only to update the training of the coast guard but also to maintain the chain of evidence throughout the procedure.

“There are a lot of things to do to facilitate the prosecution with evidence gathered from the scene of action, transferred in a way that procedures are fully respected and in accordance with the law,” he said.

Admiral Launay said the collection of evidence was not currently a problem, but an aspect that required continuous training and updating.
“What was very important today was the interoperability between the Atalanta vessel, the SCG and our missions. We need to be clear throughout the process and understand the entire chain of responsibility, which is very important,” explained Admiral Launay.

“We will try to maintain a regular basis for exercises, and that is the normal way we proceed with navy and coast guard activities.”


The acting commanding officer of the SCG, Lieutenant Colonel George Adeline, said that the day’s training was primarily an exercise in evidence-gathering and also a chance to develop standard operating procedures which are being formulated to improve the interoperability between SCG and international forces.

“Seychelles has been at the forefront in the fight against piracy at sea,” said Lt Col Adeline. “We have been fighting this fight for almost five years, and we cannot say that the pirates are disappearing, but we can say that we are able to contain, or almost contain, the situation at sea, but we remain on alert for any eventuality that might happen.”

Experts from EUCAP Nestor were on the Topaz to provide advice on the handling of the suspected pirates and evidence from the skiff. EUCAP Nestor is developing a handbook together with SCG on procedures for evidence handling.

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