For over 10 years, piracy has been successfully combated by an international “˜coalition of the willing’, achieving great success in the Indian Ocean. Ships are now able to transit the region much more safely, but the threat of piracy still exists. With this threat suppressed but not eradicated, counter-piracy work continues.
In March 2018, a joint EU Naval Force (EUÂ NAVFOR) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) team conducted training with Seychellois authorities to assist them with continued improvement and development of all areas within the justice system. By ensuring correct judicial procedures are followed, this means that from intercept to arrest the evidence chain is kept intact and criminals can be prosecuted effectively. More about this can be read on the EU NAVFOR website here: https://goo.gl/C1uYo3
Following the progress in March, a second event took place, this time led by the Seychellois authorities, with mentoring advice from EU NAVFOR and the UNODC. During the week a sequence of lessons and practical exercises took place that tested every stage from the start of an incident right through to giving evidence in court, where the Seychellois law enforcement officers were cross-examined on their statements by the EU NAVFOR Legal Advisor. A highlight was the practical boarding exercise at sea using one of the Seychellois Coast Guard vessels, where participants could put into action everything that they had covered earlier in the week.
At the end of the exercise, Ambassador Thomas Selby Pillay, representing the Seychelles’Designated Minister closed the event, thanking “EU NAVFOR and UNODC for their continued support and reaffirming the Seychelles’commitment to continue to develop as a regional centre of excellence in the investigation and prosecution of trans-national crimes, including piracy.”
With the Seychelles being an archipelago of 115 islands, safe seas are of utmost importance for the economy and security of the nation. Being able to correctly process and prosecute criminals creates an effective deterrent and ensures a safer environment for seafarers, EUÂ NAVFOR said.