UK Royal Marine cracks down on piracy

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Suspected pirates apprehended Nov. 11 off Africa’s east coast by crewmembers of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Cumberland were taken into custody this week by the Kenyan police, according to a report by the UK Ministry of Defence.

Dispatched to the Gulf of Aden, the Cumberland had seen a Yemeni fishing vessel that had previously taken part in an attack on a Danish merchant vessel, according to the report. After several non-forcible attempts to stop the boat, the Royal Marine departed in RIBs to intercept the vessel, circling it to bring it to a halt.

Gunfire ensued between the two parties, and the crew surrendered, allowing the Royal Marine to board, according to the report. The suspected Somali pirates were handed over to the Kenyan police, who will seek prosecution through Kenyan courts, according to the report.

“This is clear evidence that we will take every opportunity to combat the pirates who disrupt legitimate trade and add significant costs to goods UK consumers rely on,” says Bob Ainsworth, UK Minister for the Armed Forces. “We are sending a strong message to pirates that their activities will not be tolerated and that the global community is united in its efforts to deter and disrupt them.”

— Elizabeth Ellis