Monday, December 03, 2012
Seychelles has sent the first batch of convicted Somali pirates back to Somalia to serve their sentences, AFP reported Monday (December 3rd).
Nine prisoners were flown back under police guard to the Somali regions of Puntland and Somaliland, with more of the remaining 88 pirate prisoners "to be flown out of the Seychelles in the coming months", a government statement said.
Seychelles has accepted and tried dozens of Somali pirates, often captured at sea by foreign navies, but the convicted pirates are over-stretching its jails and at one point took up a fifth of the entire prison capacity.
Internal Affairs Minister Joel Morgan said the UN-backed transfer was a step forward to ensure "convicted pirates do not remain for long periods in Seychelles' prisons".
Piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia have dropped to a three-year low thanks to beefed up naval patrols.