Police custody till April 5 for six Somali pirates

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 22:38

Mumbai: Six out of the 16 Somali pirates,
who were recently arrested from high seas after the Navy
foiled their attack on a foreign merchant vessel, were on Wednesday
remanded in police custody for six days, police said.

The 16 sea brigands were booked under various sections
of the IPC, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Indian
Passport Act, the Foreigners Act and the Arms Act yesterday
after they were brought here in `INS Suvarna`, police said.

"Six pirates were remanded in police custody till
April 5 while the rest were remanded in judicial custody till
the same period," said M Tope, Inspector at Yellow Gate police
station.

The Navy on Saturday apprehended the pirates after
repulsing their attack on merchant vessel `MV Maersk
Kensington` about 400 nautical miles off the West coast.

The pirates on their ship `Morteza` tried to attack
the merchant vessel. `Morteza`, with 18 sailors on board, had
been hijacked by pirates in November 2010.

According to police, who cited the rescued crew
members from Morteza, the sea brigands had killed one
Pakistani and an Iranian national.

"We identified the pirate who had killed the two
hostages. Since he is now in our custody, we will question
(him) in detail," Tope added.

Tope informed that the pirates are not cooperating in
investigations.

"The pirates had confessed to their role in the murder
of the hostages but now they were saying they did not kill
anybody," he added.

According to police, the Navy operation began when a
maritime reconnaissance aircraft TU142 on patrol located
`Morteza` while responding to a distress call received at the
Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) here on Saturday
from `MV Maersk Kensington`.

The aircraft facilitated `INS Suvarna`, patrolling in
the area, to intercept the pirate vessel. The Coast Guard ship
`ICGS Sangram` was also diverted for the operation.

Several warnings by `INS Suvarna` to stop the pirate
vessel failed. The pirates fired at the Naval ship which was
retaliated by Naval guards, officials said.

The firing by the Navy resulted in the pirate vessel
catching fire and sank later. However, the pirates and the
hostages managed to jump into the waters in time, they said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 22:38

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