Up to 14 years in prison given to nine pirates

By Piracy

NIne pirates have received sentences of up to 14 years in regard to an attempted hijacking of a danish tanker in 2013.

Denmark was unable to prosecute the nine in regard to the attack on the Danish-flagged Torm Kansas tanker and was ordered to pay the pirates 20,000 Danish crowns (approx $3,247) in damages. The same pirates have recently received sentences of up to 14 years in prison in the Seychelles.

Image: L.J. Axt

One out of the total nine Somali pirates who were sentenced is under age 18 and has thus received a three year sentence in prison ordered by the court in the Seychelles. The remaining eight pirates have received sentences of 14 years each.

The Danish Esbern Snare warship managed to successfully arrest the nine pirates back on November 10th of 2013, after they had attempted hijacking the Danish tanker vessel Torm Kansas which was at the time sailing in the Indian Ocean.

At that time, the Esbern Snare was conducting pirate patrol duties on accord of NATO. Danish police were a part of the case and the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (Søik) targeted Somalis for accusations of piracy.

The pirates were initially remanded in custody in absentia in Copenhagen City Court on November 23rd of 2013, but they were later on released by the High Court and each of them received 20,000 Danish crowns in damages due to the fact that had been held aboard the Esbern Snare for too long before being brought before a judge.

The warship escorted the pirates to the Seychelles where they received trial, during which 15 of the Esbern Snare’s crew members testified on account of the nine pirates. Torm, the shipping company by which Torm Kansas is owned, is quite pleased that the pirates in question have been successfully brought to justice.

“We are quite pleased with the defense’s and the Seychelles authorities’ efforts of brining the pirates to justice. They have received trial and have been convicted, which is essential to our efforts and for the crew of the ship, of course.

This trial is of great importance to seamen because they often have to endure mental scars and trauma after going through an attack,” comments Jesper S. Jensen, Torm’s technical director.

This case marks the very first time that pirates that have attacked a Danish ship and have kidnapped Danish seamen are successfully prosecuted and sentenced behind bars.

Related news: Denmark pays compensations to pirates