35 Somali Pirates Brought to Mumbai for Prosecution in MV Ruen Hijacking Case

In a significant development, 35 Somali pirates involved in the hijacking of cargo vessel MV Ruen in December are being brought to Mumbai, India, to face trial. The move comes just days after the Indian navy successfully recaptured the hijacked bulk carrier and rescued several hostages.

The Maltese-flagged MV Ruen was hijacked east of Socotra in the northern Arabian Sea, marking the first successful boarding of a cargo vessel by Somali pirates since 2017. On March 17, Indian naval commandos took control of the vessel, located approximately 260 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, and rescued 17 crew members from Myanmar, Bulgaria, and Angola.

The captured Somali pirates are expected to be transferred to police custody later today. This marks a departure from recent practices, as the Indian navy has typically left disarmed pirates at sea after recapturing vessels and rescuing crew members. Navy spokesman Vivek Madhwal stated that this is the first time in over a decade that pirates captured at sea will be brought to Indian shores for trial.

Under India’s anti-piracy laws, the accused pirates could face severe penalties, including the death sentence if convicted of killing or attempted killing, and life imprisonment for piracy alone.

The successful rescue operation, which culminated in the recapture of the MV Ruen, was carried out by commandos who parachuted from a military C-17 aeroplane onto the vessel. The assault effectively cornered and coerced all 35 pirates on board to surrender.

The European Union Naval Force has suggested that the MV Ruen may have been used as a “mother ship” by pirates involved in the hijacking of the bulk carrier MV Abdullah on March 12. The Bangladesh-flagged MV Abdullah remains in Somali waters, with its 23-member crew still held hostage.

India’s navy has been actively deployed off the coast of Somalia since 2008, with increased efforts to combat piracy in recent years. Last year, the navy intensified its anti-piracy operations following a surge in maritime assaults, including those by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

Since December 1, the Indian Navy has recorded at least 17 incidents of hijacking, attempted hijacking, and suspicious approaches. Somali pirates were responsible for estimated global economic losses of $7 billion during their peak attacks in 2011, including substantial ransom payments.

In addition to the 35 pirates captured in this operation, India’s navy has apprehended at least 18 other suspected pirates this year, including those involved in the rescue of three Iranian-flagged fishing vessels. Details regarding the fate of these hijackers have not been publicly released.

Cargo ships have faced increased vulnerability to attacks due to the ongoing Houthi attacks, which have prompted vessels to slow down far out at sea until receiving instructions on whether to proceed.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. I would highly recommend the services of maritime security companies for cargo vessels operating in high-risk areas like the Somali coast. These companies provide armed guards and security measures to protect ships and crew from pirate attacks. With their expertise and experience, they can greatly reduce the risk of hijackings and ensure the safe passage of cargo vessels. Investing in such services can save companies from potential losses and ensure the safety of their crew members.

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