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The Hr Ms Tromp returns home, mission accomplished, 73 pirates disarmed

RHIB near the skiffs – Credit: ministerie van Defensie

(BRUSSELS2) The Dutch ship Hr. Ms. Tromp arrested and disarmed a new group of 12 suspected pirates on Friday, the Dutch Ministry of Defense announced. The pirates, aboard 2 skiffs and a mother ship, were spotted by the military 16 nautical miles from the ship. The onboard Lynx helicopter went to scout and observed ladders on board – typical pirate equipment. The Tromp inflatable boats with Marines on board then headed towards the skiffs. And stopped them. Shortly after it was the turn of the mother ship.

The Marines discovered that the suspects had thrown overboard anything that could serve as evidence of a future act of piracy. In accordance with procedures, due to lack of flagrante delicto (and no host country to accommodate suspects without clear proof), the pirates were released, with enough food and fuel to reach the Somali coast. And the other two boats destroyed.

Destruction of the skiffs by the Tromp – Credit: ministerie van Defensie

According to balance sheet drawn up by the Dutch Ministry of Defense, the ships participating in Operation Eunavfor Atalanta have disarmed in recent weeks, 14 pirate groups (143 pirates) in all, the Dutch Hr. Ms Tromp participating in half of this toll with 73 disarmed pirates (of this number, however, none were brought to justice).

Le Hs Ms Trump is now returning to the Netherlands and will be replaced in the Indian Ocean by the Hr Ms Johan de Witt, one of the two amphibious ships of the Dutch Navy and the largest (together with her sister ship, the Hr Ms Rotterdam). Served by a crew of approximately 140 sailors, it can accommodate a marine infantry battalion and transport equipment. It has a hospital and can deploy up to six helicopters.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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).