Police today said that out of the total number of 21 African nationals detained off the Dwarka temple town coast last night, 18 are Somalian pirates. The other two foreign nationals on the boat seized yesterday hail from Yemen, while one was from Tanzania, they said.
On June 19, fourteen Somalian pirates had landed on the Una coast of Junagadh district.
"Out of 21 foreign nationals detained yesterday off the coast Dwarka, 18 are Somalian pirates, who had kidnapped the two Yemen nationals and one Tanazian, alongwith their boats to carry out loots mid-sea," Superintendent of Police
Jamanagar, Subhash Trivedi told a news agency.
A team of marine State Reserve Police (SRP) patrolling in the Panchkui area near Dwarka temple, which reached the shores after local residents alerted it. The detained were later taken to Dwarka police station for interrogation.
"During interrogation, the Somalian nationals revealed that they had dropped a rocket launcher and other sophisticated weapons off the Oman coast, after being spotted by a NATO helicopter," Trivedi said.
"They said the NATO helicopter was on routine patrolling and fearing arrests, they dumped the weapons into sea," he said.
"The pirates from Somalia were also planning to loot a vessel named Moon mid-sea, they confessed during the interrogation," Trivedi said.
According to police, the engine of the boat in which they were travelling failed owing to some technical fault.
"Due to rough weather conditions in Arabian sea, their boat drifted to the Dwarka coast," police said, adding that these foreign nationals stated that they have been in sea for the past 70 days.
The foreign nationals are now in the custody of Dwarka police and they were being further interrogated with the help of an interpreter.
The police has begun probing if there were any links between these 18 foreign nationals with the other 14 pirates of Somalian origin, who were arrested from Junagadh district on last Sunday, alongwith three Yemen nationals taken hostage
The 14 Somalian nationals were booked for trespassing into India without valid documents and other sections of IPC.
Jamnagar: In a span of less than ten days, another group of Somalian pirates landed on the Gujarat coast Sunday night and was detained, as their ship drifted to the Dwarka coast in the district, following a technical fault in their boat.
First Published: Monday, June 27, 2011, 15:27