SEYCHELLES GOVERNMENT TRANSFERS CONVICTED SOMALI PIRATES
On Saturday 5th October and Wednesday 9th October 2013 respectively, a special chartered flight transported a total of 16 Somalis from the custody of the Seychelles Prison Services into the custody of officials from the UNODC who had organized the transfers and repatriation back to the Puntland State of Somalia.
“A total of 11 prisoners who had been convicted in the Seychelles for acts of Piracy will serve out the remainder of their sentences under the direction and responsibility of Puntland,” said Minister Joël Morgan, the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport. “Seychelles has led the region and clearly demonstrated its resolve, where piracy in the Western Indian Ocean is concerned. We remain a committed partner both within the region and internationally, and we continue to do our maximum to support the return of peace and stability in Somalia,” the Minister added.
The UNODC has recently redeveloped the Bossaso prison in the Puntland State of Somalia to meet international standards and acceptable conditions. In addition to this facility, a 500-bed prison is as well being constructed by the UNODC in Garowe, Puntland, which when completed will provide adequate space to house many of the convicted Somali prisoners currently serving sentences overseas.
Five other Somali nationals, having since completed their sentences in the Seychelles for acts of piracy, have as well been returned to Puntland State in Somalia.
Officials from the UNODC thanked the Seychelles Government and its representatives from the Seychelles Police, the Seychelles Prison Service, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport, and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, for the excellent cooperation and assistance provided for these latest transfers, which were successfully completed.
Following this latest transfer, there remains 38 Somali prisoners who have been convicted of piracy, as well as 9 on remand who are still here in Seychelles.