Press release

PIRACY ATTACK OFF THE COAST OF SOMALIA: Suspects have been transferred to the Seychelles Authorities

April 27, 2019

EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta transferred five suspects to Seychellois authorities after responding to piracy attacks on 21 April 2019.

Spanish flagship ESPS Navarra transported the five suspected pirates to Seychelles on the afternoon of 25 April 2019. The suspects have now been transferred to Seychellois authorities in accordance with a transfer agreement between the Seychelles and the European Union and with support from UN Office on Drugs and Crime. (UNODC).

For humanitarian reasons, Operation Atalanta has requested medical assistance from the Seychelles authorities upon ESPS Navarra’s arrival for two of the suspects likely to have been wounded during the piracy attempts.

EU NAVFOR has confirmed that on 21 April, suspected pirates seized a Yemeni fishing dhow in the Indian Ocean off the central Somali coast. The suspects then proceeded to attack the fishing vessels, FV Adria and FV Txaori Argi.

The masters, crews, and private security teams on board both vessels applied Best Management Practices (BMP) measures and avoided the attack. It is understood that the suspects executed the subsequent attacks while using the Yemeni dhow as a mothership.

On 21 April, EU NAVFOR dispatched its German and Spanish Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircrafts to search the area. In addition, EU NAVFOR flagship ESPS Navarra left the port in Mombasa in order to proceed to the area. On 23 April, ESPS NAVARA successfully intercepted and boarded the dhow, resulting in the release of 23 Yemeni hostages.

EU NAVFOR remains committed to deterring, preventing and suppressing piracy and emphasizes that the Maritime Industry must adhere to BMP measures in order to maximize the safety of the ship and their crews whilst transiting the high-risk area. EU NAVFOR relies on the regional legal framework to enable a comprehensive legal prosecution of suspects of piracy.