Indian Naval Forces Capture 35 Somali Pirates, Transferred to Mumbai Police Custody

The Indian Navy has successfully transported a group of Somali pirates, numbering at least 35, who were apprehended off the coast of Somalia, to the city of Mumbai. This operation was conducted aboard the warship INS Kolkata, as announced by officials on Saturday. Upon reaching Mumbai, the captured individuals were handed over to the jurisdiction of the Mumbai police.

These pirates were captured during a strategic interception operation targeting the hijacked Malta-flagged cargo ship MV Ruen. The pirates had repurposed this vessel as a mother ship for launching further attacks. The Indian Navy reported that the pirates engaged their warship with gunfire, initiating a confrontation. The navy responded decisively, neutralizing the threat and ensuring the capture of the pirates after a tense 40-hour standoff.

The operation commenced on March 15, with INS Kolkata guided by intelligence provided by the UK Maritime Trade Operations and the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre. Their collaborative efforts led to the successful interception of the pirate vessel, formerly known as MV Ruen.

This mission forms a part of Operation Sankalp and occurs at a time of heightened focus on maritime security. Indian naval forces have been deployed in strategic waterways since December to counter threats from pirates and Houthi militants who disrupt shipping routes in the Red Sea.

With piracy incidents off the Somali coast on the rise, the international community, including regional governments and the UN’s International Maritime Organization, has called for enhanced maritime security measures to deter further attacks.

Although the Puntland regional government expressed interest in deporting the captured pirates for local prosecution, it seems unlikely given that the suspects have been transported to India for prosecution.

Following their capture, the suspected pirates now face legal proceedings under India’s 2022 Maritime Anti-Piracy Act

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