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EU Navfor Commander warns Somali pirate threat not over

EU Navfor Commander warns Somali pirate threat not over
The operations commander of EU naval forces combatting piracy off Somalia has warned the threat has been contained, but is not over.

Operation commander of the EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, warned that Somali pirates were still very determined to get out to sea and attack “easy targets”.

“I am very concerned that seafarers and nations will lower their guard and support for counter piracy operations in the belief that the piracy threat is over.  It is not; it is merely contained,” Tarrant said.

As Seatrade Global reported yesterday it is a year since a vessel and its crew were successfully hijacked by Somali pirates for ransom, but those involved in the fight against piracy such as the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) warn the threat is far from over.

Just a few days ago the warship ESPS Rayo located a skiff 320 nm off the Somali coast with equipment related to piracy. The suspected pirates were not apprehended due to a lack of evidence.

 “Whilst not possible this time, when suspect pirates are apprehended by the EU Naval Force, every effort is made to achieve a prosecution, as demonstrated in recent months by the legal transfers by the European Union of suspect pirates to Mauritius and The Seychelles authorities,” said a spokesman for EU Navfor.