The Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution & Intelligence Co-ordination Centre has been opened in the Seychelles by UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office minister Alistair Burt.
The centre will bring together experts from around the world to share intelligence and information to tackle pirate leaders and financiers.
Mr Burt said the centre would play a vital role in targeting the heart of the piracy operations: the leaders and financiers of piracy who feel as if they are able to act with impunity.
“By targeting those at the top the RAPPICC will perform a vital and unique function and will support regional capacity in tackling serious organised maritime crime in Somalia and across the Indian Ocean.”
At the London Conference on Somalia 2012,UK prime minister David Cameron signed a memorandum of understanding with the Seychelles, during which the UK committed £550,000 ($827,000) to the centre’s construction costs.
Westminster is also providing the centre’s first co-director and one other UK officer. The centre will be staffed by several international partners, including nations from the region.
Those expected to provide participants include the UK, the Seychelles, the US, Tanzania, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Australia, Interpol and EU Navfor.