Rappicc, Australian navy share anti-piracy skills


The meeting with the Australian sailors at the sharp end of the fight against piracy was arranged by Wayne Bastin – Rappicc’s newly appointed Learning and Development Officer seconded from Aus Aid – for the Rappicc staff to learn how the Australian navy handle suspected piracy incidents and for the HMAS Newcastle crew to find out what happens to the individuals they detain in their anti-piracy work.

HMAS Newcastle has recently been deployed to the region, relieving HMAS Toowoomba, and maintaining the near continuous Australian naval presence in the region to conduct anti-piracy and counter terrorism work.

The Rappicc team visiting the Newcastle was joined by two British lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service and attached to the Attorney General’s Office.
“This provided a great opportunity for the crew to meet Rappicc members and gave us the opportunity to impart the experiences and knowledge of the two British lawyers deployed here by the British government to assist in prosecuting piracy cases,” said Mr Bastin.

During the meeting the lawyers explained how the crew should handle suspected piracy cases, including receiving evidence, taking statements and exhibit management, all of which are vital in building robust prosecution cases.

In return the officers described their procedures and the instructions they have been given for processing suspected pirates.
As well as reviewing general piracy case procedures, the legal team also explained the specific steps that need to be taken when detaining juveniles and how such individuals are processed upon arrival in Seychelles.

The meeting aboard HMAS Newcastle took place several hours before the Australian high commissioner to Seychelles, Sandra Vegting, joined the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan and the British high commissioner, Lindsay Skoll, in signing the Rappicc Partnership Agreement, formalising Australia’s participation in the organisation’s anti-piracy fight.

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