US Hands Over Somali Pirates to Seychelles

Posted March 7th, 2012 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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The United States has handed over 15 suspected Somali pirates to the Seychelles for trial.

Seychellois officials confirmed the handover Wednesday, a day after the U.S. State Department announced the island nation had agreed to accept the suspects.

The U.S. Navy captured the Somalis in early January while rescuing 13 Iranian fishermen whose ship had been hijacked in the northern Indian Ocean.

The Seychelles is currently holding dozens of captured Somali pirates, and recently agreed to host an intelligence coordination center to further fight piracy.

Pirates frequently attack ships near the islands, located about 1,500 kilometers from Somalia.

A State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, said the United States appreciates the Seychelles' “regional leadership on counter-piracy” efforts.


The Seychelles says suspected pirates now take up 20 percent of the country's prison capacity.