28 captured Somali pirates to be tried in Mumbai

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MUMBAI - A gang of 28 Somali pirates, nabbed three days ago near the Lakshadweep Islands off south-west India, will be handed over to Mumbai police here Wednesday to be prosecuted under Indian laws, officials said here Tuesday.

The pirates were nabbed in a joint anti-piracy operation by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard on the high seas Saturday.

After a gun battle with the pirates, the ICG ship ‘Samar’ also rescued 24 fishermen held hostages by them in the hijacked fishing trawler Prantalaya-11.

The trawler, one among the Prantalay series which have been hijacked in the past few months, was used as the pirates’ mother vessel to carry out attacks on merchant ships in that area, using high speed skiffs.

The pirates were first taken to Kochi and will now face the Indian courts in Mumbai.

They are scheduled to be handed over to the Yellow Gate police station for investigations.

Meanwhile, 15 pirates who were brought here Jan 31 after capture in the same area, were sent to judicial custody by a Mumbai court here.

They have been slapped with charges of rioting, using weapons and attempt to murder on the high seas.

A group of 20-odd fishermen, rescued during the previous operation from a trawler of Prantalay series, is in the process of going back home in cooperation with the Thai and Myanmarese authorities.

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