SOMALIS SENTENCED TO 24 YEARS IN PRISON
6 Somali ocean terrorists were yesterday ‘sent down’ for 24 years for their participation in seajacking a Seychelles fishing vessel, taking Seychellois citizens hostage and attempting to sail the ship to Somalia.
The verdict was extra heavy as they then attempted to attack a Seychelles Coast Guard vessel which was in hot pursuit, but when the determined navy personnel returned fire the pirates gave up and surrendered.
The incident happened in April this year and while the rescued Seychellois received a hero’s welcome alongside the crew of the coastguard ship, the Somalis were taken to court, charged and sentenced.
It is likely that under a current agreement between the Seychelles and Somali authorities they will serve much of their sentence in Somali prisons, as they are expected to be extradited soon to their homeland.
The Seychelles have shown a hardline against ocean terror, as it is a clear and present danger to their national security and impacts on tourism and trade, and have on several past occasions used appropriate force to rescue ships abducted in their national waters. International cooperation has strengthened the archipelago’s ability to hunt down ocean terrorists, as surveillance by additional aircraft – gifted to the Seychelles by India and China – has given the authorities added information as to the locations of pirate ‘motherships’ and skiffs. Navy vessels too were donated to the country by the United Arab Emirates and India while the UAE has also built a brand new naval base and equipped the islands with radar and satellite monitoring, which will spot and prevent any likely approach by ocean terrorists.
Well done once again Seychelles, keep it up.