Suspected pirates transferred to Netherlands


Ten suspected Somali pirates who attacked a German cargo ship off the Somali coast were sent to Netherlands to face their trial.

A military transport plane carrying the suspects arrived in Eindhoven, in the south of The Netherlands on Wednesday after taking off from Djibouti.
“The pirates are going to be held in The Netherlands until their extradition to Germany,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

The court spokeswoman Anna-Mieke Jeuring said the pirates are due to appear before a magistrate in Amsterdam yesterday.

The 10 suspected pirates, who were arrested on April 5 after a failed attempt to hijack a German vessel about 900 kilometres (560 miles) east of the Somali coast, were handed over to judicial officials and placed in detention, Robin Middel, spokesperson for the Dutch defence ministry said.

If an accelerated extradition procedure is ordered, they could be transferred to Germany in 10 days, she said. If not, their extradition would be examined in a hearing that would occur in about 60 days, AFP reported.

The European Union’s anti-piracy naval task forces disarm and release the pirates with enough food, water and fuel to get them back to the Somali coast.

In December, the Dutch defence ministry had decided to release the 13 prisoners because it was not possible to bring charges against them.

Somali waters are one of the most dangerous in the world, with 47 vessels and 300 crews hijacked by Somali pirates last year and the foreign warships patrolling the waters are now been outwitted by the pirates who now hijack ships far into the Indian Ocean.

Pirates have reportedly claimed to be acting as “coastguards” protecting their waters from illegal fishing and dumping of toxic waste.

Allegations of waste dumping off Somalia by European and Asian companies have been heard for years and the problem was highlighted in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami when broken hazardous waste containers washed up on Somali shores.