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Mar-21-2010 20:43printcomments

Kenya Navy and Police Arrest 11 Suspected Somali Pirates

So far, the 135+ Somalis in Kenyan detention accused of piracy, have all been captured by foreign navies patrolling the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

Logo for the Kenya Navy
Logo for the Kenya Navy courtesy:

(NAIROBI, Kenya) - Ecoterra International reports that eleven armed Somalis were nabbed by Kenyan security forces after allegedly stealing fuel from a Kenyan fishing vessel on Sunday near Kiunga north of Lamu. This is an area just south of the Somali-Kenyan border.

"What they didn't realize was that one of the Kenyans sent an SMS message to the naval post at Kiunga, which triggered an alarm response," Ecoterra said.

Kenyan security forces arrested the alleged Somali pirates reportedly in Kenyan waters, though the marine boundary between Kenya and Somalia is disputed. No exact position was provided.

"Yes, police have arrested the 11 suspects, believed to be pirates in Kiunga area. They are in custody," Provincial Criminal Investigation Officer (PCIO) Nyagah Reche told Reuters.

The Reuters report added:

Police sources said the suspects ran out of fuel at sea, hijacked a fishing boat and ordered the crew to sail to Somalia. But one of the crew made a telephone call which led to the intervention of Kenyan security forces based in Lamu. One source of Reuters said the suspects ditched their weapons and skiffs when they realised the police were nearby, while local sources said that the incident was actually a dispute between Somali and Kenyan fishermen, which usually co-operate across the border.

So far, the 135+ Somalis in Kenyan detention accused of piracy, have all been captured by foreign navies patrolling the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

Pressure has been mounting on the Kenyans to show results for the massive financial and institutional support, which includes equipment and vessels, they received from abroad for counterpiracy measures.

Several times Kenyan security forces have been accused of shielding or letting terror suspects escape, which usually then triggers atrocities against minor offenders or innocents in show-actions by the security apparatus.

The eleven arrested are at present in custody at a naval post on Sheila, an island near Lamu, and "Transport arrangements are being made to bring them to Mombasa from Lamu, so that they answer to several charges which are being prepared as investigations continue," said Reche.

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