Eight more Somali pirates flown home


15-May-2013

They were flown aboard an Islands Development Company (IDC) chartered plane under escort provided by specially trained police officers. The prisoners were successfully handed over to Puntland authorities to serve out the remainder of their sentences in Basaso Prison. 

The operation to repatriate the prisoners was made possible by extensive diplomatic efforts between the Seychelles government and Puntland authorities and it was carried out without incident.
Home Affairs and Transport Minister Joël Morgan said of this latest transfer:

“This occurred at the very moment when I was in the UK delivering a message to the second London Conference on Somalia on behalf of President James Michel. We expressed a desire to see peace and stability throughout Somalia, with Seychelles pledging to help Somalia by offering assistance in the domain of fisheries management. Returning those prisoners who have been under our custody following their conviction, under a United Nations sponsored programme for repatriation, demonstrates clearly our resolve that Somalis who have been convicted of piracy charges here must return to Somalia to continue to serve the remainder of their sentences.”

Puntland Minister for Justice Abdikalif Sheik Hassan, when visiting Seychelles in March this year expressed his government’s appreciation in the way Seychelles was handling the piracy situation and conveyed his interest to strengthen the relationship between Seychelles and Puntland. 

The minister had visited Seychelles after a group of 25 convicted Somalis had been transferred back to Puntland to serve out their sentences.

It is expected that another group currently incarcerated at the Montagne Posée prison will be transferred towards the end of this month.

The IDC flight crew and police escorts returned safely to Seychelles the same day.

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