While pirate attacks have all but become a forgotten issue off the African east coast, the follow-up as far as successful prosecution of suspected pirates is concerned is still top of mind for organisations such as EU NavFor and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
To this end training was recently conducted in Seychelles with law enforcement agencies at the regional fusion and law enforcement centre for safety and security at sea (REFLECS3).
Over a three day period teams conducted a joint exercise using the Seychelles Prosecution Pathway, a programme designed by EU NavFor and UNODC to ensure continuous improvement and development of all areas within the Seychelles justice system. This because suspected pirates arrested in anti- and counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa and other east African waters are normally aken to Seychelles for trial. The 2018 exercise built on the March 2017 one and saw attention given to evidence collection, crime scene management, media relations and a discussion about the transfer of suspected pirates between EU NavFor and Seychelles in November last year.
In addition to classroom-based earning and discussions, those attending also took part in what EU NavFor said was “a simulated but realistic crime scene exercise aboard a dhow”.
Also present were members of the EU NavFor warship ESPS Patino, visiting Seychelles, who supported the training with their experience of maritime crime.
Seychellois authorities have long been working alongside EU NavFor and UNODC as part of the legal finish for counter-piracy operations of the east coast of Africa. Seychelles Maritime Police Unit, Seychelles Coast Guard, Scientific Support and Crime Record Bureau, Seychelles Police Force and CID, lawyers from the Attorney General’s Office, State Counsel and the Seychelles Peoples Defence Force were all represented at the three day training session.