Eleven suspected pirates detained by the EU NAVFOR Spanish warship, ESPS CANARIAS on March 28, 2011 were today transferred to Seychellois legal authorities for prosecution. The suspected pirates were detained by the warship after they allegedly threatened a Seychelles-flagged fishing vessel 260 nautical miles northwest of the Seychelles. The transfer has been made under an agreement between the EU and the Seychelles.
In the March 28 incident, the fishing vessel reported a whaler and a skiff had approached it in a suspicious manner with automatic weapons and a rocket propelled grenade(RPG) clearly visible. The Spanish warship immediately made its way to the scene and launched itsSH-60B helicopter to investigate further.
After two attempts by the whaler to flee the scene, the helicopter fired warning shots ahead the vessel to make it stop. The occupants of the whaler were observed throwing items of equipment overboard just before the ESPS CANARIAS arrived. Having been stopped by the helicopter, the whaler and the skiff were boarded by a team from the Spanish warship and 11 suspected pirates detained. The whaler was taken alongside by the warship and the skiff was destroyed.
After presenting the case to the Seychelles authorities, it was been agreed to transfer the suspected pirates to the Seychelles for prosecution.
April 20, 2011