Operational support

Maritime piracy has a global reach. A single incident can involve seamen, vessel owners, shipping companies, insurance companies, navies and pirates from several different countries.

At INTERPOL, we have taken the lead in providing the international community with the operational support necessary to bring an end to maritime piracy. Our goal is to equip member countries affected by maritime piracy with the skills they need to identify and arrest the high-level leaders and financiers, in order to break up the syndicates involved in this crime.

Types of assistance

Incident Response Teams

When a captured vessel is released by pirates, INTERPOL can send a team of experts, known as an Incident Response Team (IRT), to assist with the crime scene investigation and evidence collection.

In April 2011, the first ever piracy IRT was sent to Durban, South Africa, to assist national police with the investigation of a Greek vessel released by Somali pirates. The team collected physical evidence, recovered digital evidence from the vessel’s satellite phone, collected fingerprints and DNA, and gathered testimony from the crew. The evidence was forwarded to the South African authorities to conduct a formal investigation.

Another IRT was deployed to Salalah, Oman, in June 2012, to assist with the processing of a piracy crime scene on the ‘Liquid Velvet’, a Greek vessel operating under the flag of the Marshall Islands.

Project EVEXI (Evidence Exploitation Initiative)

The project assists our member countries investigating piracy cases by providing regional investigators with an INTERPOL-supported procedure for intelligence gathering, evidence collection and information sharing. This ensures that all information and evidence collected is effectively used in the prosecution of pirates

In our pilot project, Project Cerberus, we collaborated with partners to interview Somali pirates in Seychellois prisons. The initiative has produced positive results, including the discovery of evidence placing one pirate at the scene of an attack against a Belgian vessel two years earlier.

The project has been launched in Madagascar, the Maldives, the Seychelles and Tanzania, with other beneficiaries including Kenya and Oman.

Distribution of best management practices

We have contributed to the creation of a chapter in a manual distributed to the shipping industry. INTERPOL’s chapter provides guidance to seafarers and vessel owners on the proper techniques of post-incident evidence preservation and recovery, and we have set up a mechanism to offer them assistance.

23 May 2016

INTERPOL and UNODC forge closer ties in combating transnational crime

26 June 2015

Police cooperation focus of visit by Gabon Minister of Interior to INTERPOL

20 June 2015

Effective response to global security challenges focus of Norway visit by INTERPOL Chief

02 February 2015

INTERPOL Basic Training on Maritime Security held in Malaysia

16 December 2014

INTERPOL holds training on digital forensics for maritime piracy investigations

01 September 2014

INTERPOL Chief discusses regional security needs during Eritrea visit

20 August 2014

INTERPOL workshop in Kuala Lumpur marks launch of regional counter-terrorism programme

11 August 2014

INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Marshall Islands highlights country’s role in regional security

08 July 2014

FBI-INTERPOL symposium to enhance global preparedness in securing critical infrastructure

08 June 2014

Fight against terrorism and piracy focus of INTERPOL Chief meeting with Yemeni President

21 May 2014

EU and INTERPOL: combating transnational organized crime at sea

21 March 2014

INTERPOL anti-piracy meeting reviews key evidence against network leaders

14 February 2014

Boosting law enforcement cooperation focus of INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Liberia

11 February 2014

President of Guinea discusses security needs with INTERPOL Chief

10 February 2014

Togo role in fighting wildlife and transnational crime focus of INTERPOL Chief visit

18 January 2014

Visit by Zanzibar police commissioner to INTERPOL focuses on boosting regional security