EU NAVFOR nabs 18 suspected pirates

During the early morning of 6 April, the EU NAVFOR Finnish warship FNS Pohjanmaa identified a suspected Pirate Action Group (PAG) consisting of a dhow and 2 attack skiffs approximately 250 NM South East of Salalah, Oman.

The PAG is believed to have been responsible for an unsuccessful attack on a merchant vessel in the area the day before.

When Pohjanmaa approached the PAG, the dhow tried to flee the scene and the suspected pirates were observed throwing equipment overboard.  The Pohjanmaa was forced to fire warning shots to stop the dhow.  After stopping the PAG and boarding the dhow, 18 suspected pirates were discovered and detained.  A significant amount of suspected pirate-related paraphernalia was found and seized by the Pohjanmaa’s boarding team.

The suspected pirates will be detained onboard the Pohjanmaa whilst legal negotiations take place regarding a possible prosecution.

This is the third disruption in less than ten days by EU NAVFOR warships. Since the beginning of the operation in December 2008, EU NAVFOR has disrupted more than 80 Pirate Action Groups.