News Blogmaritime piracy

First arrest of pirates for EUNAVFOR

credit: french army

The French opinion First Master L'Her, on patrol in the eastern Gulf of Aden, arrested eight suspected pirates, present in two skiffs which attempted to approach a Panamanian cargo ship, the S. Vénus, which had launched a distress call.

A visit aboard the boats revealed six AK47 machine guns, a rocket launcher (RPG), ammunition, two boarding ladders, a grappling hook and a GPS. The weapons were put under control. The Somalis suspected of piracy were transferred to the French aviso and handed over to the Somali authorities in Puntland on Friday.

NB (update): This is the second pirate interception (thanks for the clarification, Thomas). But the first arrest. The German frigate, the Karlsruhe, intervened, early on Christmas morning, on an emergency call from an Egyptian bulk carrier, the Wabi al-Arab, attacked near the Yemeni coast by pirates. During exchanges of fire, a crew member of the merchant ship was injured by gunfire and treated by the German frigate's on-board doctor, before being evacuated to a hospital. The seized weapons were “neutralized” (i.e. thrown into the water). But the six pirates initially apprehended were very quickly released, on “orders from Berlin”, according to information communicated by the German navy to the with the BBC. German Navy spokesman Achim Winkler explained the motivation: the pirates are not “prosecuted only when German interests are at stake“. Which leads to questions, as our colleague does Thomas Wiegold of Focus on the robustness of the mandate.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).