Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and his Mauritius counterpart Navinchandra Ramgoolam signed a deal for suspected pirates caught by the British navy to be prosecuted on the Indian Ocean island. Cameron said the agreement signalled that Indian Ocean states were stepping up the battle against piracy. Britain has similar deals with the Seychelles and Tanzania as part of efforts to protect vital shipping lanes against Somali pirates.
“Piracy is a violent crime and pirates should be in no doubt that they will be arrested at sea, prosecuted in regional states and imprisoned,” said Cameron.
Piracy has flourished off war-torn Somalia, outwitting international efforts to stamp out the scourge, including patrols by NATO and European Union warships since 2008 and tough sentencing of captured pirates. Several other nations, including Russia and China, also provide protection for their ships as they pass through the busy shipping route through the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
Pirates are currently holding dozens of ships and hundreds of sailors for ransom, and have also branched out into land-based kidnapping.