Danish frigate releases 3 pirate suspects

Written by

Nick Blenkey

Daish frigate that released pirates

Danish frigate Esbern Snare, seen right here on patrol within the Gulf of Guinea, launched three pirate suspects after regional authorities refused to take them. [Anders Fridberg / Forsvaret]

States within the Gulf of Guinea area should take duty and step-up prosecution efforts when pirates are apprehended by worldwide navies, mentioned BIMCO as we speak.

The assertion got here following the discharge of three suspected Nigerian pirates who had been held in custody on board the Danish frigate Esbern Snare.

The Danish frigate has been a part of a global anti-piracy effort within the Gulf of Guinea to discourage pirates because the finish of October 2021.

On November 24, particular forces from the frigate have been concerned in a firefight with gunmen in a skiff filled with piracy gear within the waters south of Nigeria.


4 suspects, together with the three who’ve now been launched, have been detained on board the frigate. After Denmark didn’t discover a nation within the area to take them, the three have been put to sea on Thursday in a small dinghy with sufficient meals and gasoline for them to achieve shore safely.

That they had been charged below Danish regulation with tried manslaughter by firing at Danish personnel. They have been launched after Danish Minister of Justice Nick Hækkerup determined that the indictments ought to be dropped.

“We’ve got no real interest in getting the individuals in query to Denmark, the place they must serve a doable sentence, and the place we additionally danger that they might not subsequently have the ability to be deported,” mentioned Hækkerup. “Due to this fact, I’ve fairly exceptionally made the choice to order the prosecution to inform three of the 4 suspected pirates of a waiver. Because of this the three suspected pirates have been let loose. They don’t have any connection to Denmark, and the crime they’ve been charged with has been dedicated removed from Denmark. They merely don’t belong right here. And that’s why I believe it’s the precise factor to do.”

The fourth detained suspect had been admitted to a hospital in Ghana on account of accidents sustained within the confrontation with Danish personnel. Now he has apparently been flown to Denmark after Ghana refused to maintain him and the Armed Forces decided that, for well being and security causes, he couldn’t be launched at sea. He was anticipated to look earlier than a Danish courtroom as we speak.


“The presence of worldwide navies is an important step in the precise route to maintain seafarers secure however establishing a sustainable safety scenario within the Gulf of Guinea can’t occur with out full assist of the area,” says BIMCO Secretary Common and CEO, David Loosley. “Bringing suspected pirates to justice is greatest completed by regional coastal states. We’ve got seen suspected pirates dropped at justice within the area earlier than. Worldwide collaboration between regional jurisdictions and non-regional navy forces holds an incredible potential that can’t be missed,”

BIMCO notes that in July 2021, it was reported {that a} Togolese courtroom had convicted 9 males of piracy following an assault on a tanker in Could 2019. One of many pirates was sentenced to fifteen years in jail whereas six have been every sentenced to 12 years in jail

Because the arrival of worldwide navies with sturdy mandates, the variety of pirate assaults and kidnapped seafarers within the area has dropped considerably. Within the fourth quarter of 2020 an estimated 23 assaults have been made in opposition to service provider ships buying and selling within the Gulf of Guinea whereas 50 seafarers have been kidnapped. By fourth quarter 2021 the numbers had dropped to seven assaults and 20 kidnappings.

The Gulf of Guinea coastal states are more and more specializing in maritime safety and several other initiatives are underway. There are nevertheless nonetheless challenges. For instance, Nigeria’s Deep Blue initiative continues to be not deployed on lively antipiracy operations.

“If regional coastal states assist prosecute apprehended pirates it would considerably strengthen the case for capacity-building and assist from the worldwide group and underpin the event of the blue financial system in West Africa,” says BIMCO’s Head of Maritime Security and Safety, Jakob Larsen.

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