Somali Pirates case: Mumbai cops seek Pakistan’s help to bolster case | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Somali Pirates case: Mumbai cops seek Pakistan’s help to bolster case

ByVinay Dalvi
Apr 06, 2024 10:12 AM IST

The Indian Navy, as a part of its anti-piracy ops, intercepted the hijacked vessel forced the nine pirates to surrender and rescued the 23 Pakistani nationals

MUMBAI: The Yellow Gate police have decided to seek help from Pakistan to make a watertight case against the nine Somali pirates arrested by the Indian Navy a week ago. Officials will contact the Pakistani police through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to get statements from the Pakistani crew to support their case against the arrested pirates.

A case was registered against the pirates on Wednesday.
A case was registered against the pirates on Wednesday.

The Somali pirates hijacked an Iranian fishing vessel, ‘Al Kambar’, which had a crew of 23 Pakistani members onboard. The Indian Navy, as a part of its anti-piracy operation on March 29, intercepted the hijacked vessel forced the nine pirates to surrender and rescued the 23 Pakistani nationals. Navy ship Sumedha intercepted the vessel about 90 nautical miles southwest of Socotra.

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A case was registered against the pirates on Wednesday. The nine Somali pirates are Gelie Jama Farah, 50, Ahmed Bashir Omar, 42, Abdikarin Mohmmad Shire, 34, Adan Hasan Warmase, 44, Mohammed Abdi Ahmed, 34, Abdikadir Mohmmad Ali, 28, Aydid Mohmud Jimale, 30, Said Yasin Adan, 25, and Jama Said Elmi, 18.

The Navy, however, allowed the fishermen to proceed with their fishing trip after the rescue operation and brought the surrendered pirates to the city. “We will, therefore, write to the central agencies through MEA and Interpol and seek cooperation from Pakistan in this case. The statements of the 23 Pakistani crew or at least a few of them need to be recorded as they are witnesses to make a strong case that can stand legal scrutiny against the nine pirates,” said the police officer.

They police are in the process of sending a letter to the Pakistani courts to get their statements according to a questionnaire sent by the police. “The statement could be used in the trial against the pirates,” the officer added.

Earlier, the navy rescued 17 crew members onboard Bulgarian-owned merchant vessel M V Ruen and arrested 35 Somali Pirates on March 16, 260 nautical miles from the Garacad Port, Puntland, Somalia. The crew was brought to India to record their statements, apart from Naval officers, as they are crucial witnesses in the case. “In previous cases, we have asked foreign nationals to depose via video conferencing in our courts, and that’s how we managed to get a conviction,” Ranjeet Sangale, former special public prosecutor who represented the state in earlier cases related to foreign nationals, said. “We have to be careful and gather sufficient evidence in such cases as it an international matter and is under scrutiny from various other foreign courts,” said the police officer.

The police said they have got the police custody of the pirates and are questioning them with the help of an interpreter.

They have been booked under sections 364A (kidnapping for ransom), 383 (extortion), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 342 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days), 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and under sections of the Maritime Anti-Piracy Act, 2022 and Indian Arms Act.

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