Court Convicts 11 Somalis of Piracy

The Seychelles Supreme Court on Wednesday (October 2nd) sentenced 11 Somali men to prison terms of between 18 months and 16 years after convicting them of committing acts of piracy and operating a pirate vessel, according to European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia.

The men were apprehended May 11, 2012, by the Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Van Amstel after the warship’s helicopter noticed a suspicious vessel towing two dhows 400 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.

On board, the crew found 11 pirates and 17 Iranian fishermen held as hostages, in addition to evidence linking the pirates to another armed attack a few days earlier.

The Royal Netherlands Navy is part of EU NAVFOR which has carried out counter piracy activities in the region since December 2008.