PIRACY UPDATE: 6 Pirates on Trial in France, Pirate Mother Ship Released, Failed Pirates Returned to Somalia

By MarEx 2011-11-16 15:34:53

Six Alleged Somali Pirates Face Trial in Paris, France

On Tuesday, size alleged Somali pirates went on trial in Paris as a result of the 2009 yacht hijacking and hostage of a French couple.

The men, all between ages 21 and 45, have been accused of seizing the Carré-d'As IV  while sailing the Gulf of Aden and then holding French natives, Jean-Yves Delanne and his wife, Bernadette Bignon for two weeks at a $2 million ransom.

French special forces units had boarded the yacht in 2008 and rescued the couple, and then took the pirates into French custody, where they have been waiting to see trial ever since. 

The pirate groups faces charges of hijacking, kidnapping, and armed robbery, which holds sentences of up to 30 years in prison, according to CNN.

This is the first trial of its kind in France, and it is expected to last until early December.

EU NAVFOR Warship FGS KOELN Escorts Released Yemeni Dhow

On 11 November, the Yemeni dhow AL JABAL was handed-over by the Commanding Officer of the FGS KOELN to the Yemen Coast Guard for return to its owner after it had been stolen to be used as a pirate mother-ship. The dhow had been taken by a group of Somali pirates and was detected in the vicinity of a number of failed pirate attacks before a compliant boarding was made by the KOELN to regain control.

PHOTO: FGS KOELN escorts the dhow towards Yemen

Engineers from the German warship carried out repairs to the engine and divers cut away a rope caught around the propeller to increase the speed of the dhow for the transit to Yemen; following a rendezvous with the Yemeni Coast Guard cutter P1029, off the port of Al Mukalla, the dhow and her two crew members were able to return home.

(Source: EUNAVFOR)

Failed Pirates Returned to Somalia

On 8 November, following detection by EU NAVFOR warships and aircraft working in close cooperation in the Somali Basin, the Yemen registered dhow, AL JABAL, which had been stolen for use as a pirate mother-ship, was stopped by the FGS KOELN. A group of 19 Somali men were onboard and surrendered to the boarding team; two Yemeni crew members were released.

PHOTO: Unopposed boarding of AL JABAL

The dhow had been previously detected in the area of a number of failed pirate attacks and tracked to a position where an unopposed boarding could be carried out. Regrettably, without sufficient evidence to prove piracy and the reluctance of the two crew members to testify against their captors, the 19 men were returned to Somalia. The dhow, with a crew of German sailors onboard, has sailed towards the port of Al Mukalla on the Yemen coast where it will be handed-over to the Yemen Coastguard for return to its owners and for the two crew members to be reunited with their families.

(Source: EUNAVFOR)