International cooperation with Seychelles crucial against maritime piracy, INTERPOL Chief tells country's authorities
VICTORIA, Seychelles – The Head of INTERPOL has underlined the world police body’s on-going support to the Seychelles and pledged its global resources to the island nation in its ‘herculean’ efforts to combat maritime piracy.
During meetings (17-19 June) in Victoria with the Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs, Environment and Transport, Joel Morgan, as well as with its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam, INTERPOL Secretary General Noble said that the efforts of the Seychelles in fighting the global crime of maritime piracy were important to the security of all nations.
“The Seychelles is fully committed to working with INTERPOL to help create a sustainable response to the transnational threat of piracy. As a small island nation which has found itself increasingly on the frontline as the hub for international counter-piracy operations and prosecutions, the Seychelles welcomes the important support provided by INTERPOL and its global network in developing its critical law enforcement needs,” said Minister Morgan.
With the visit by the Head of INTERPOL coming in the wake of a decision by the European Union in February 2011 to fund a EUR 1.6 million project that will see INTERPOL provide essential equipment and training to law enforcement across East African countries tackling maritime piracy, a significant part of the funding will be dedicated to developing forensic and investigative capacity in the Seychelles.
“INTERPOL is committed to supporting police in its member countries tackle what is at its core, a transnational crime problem. Our focus is to ensure that police professionals in the Seychelles have the forensic tools, capacity and training, as well as international support they need in order to carry out investigations into maritime piracy and other crimes as effectively as possible,” said Secretary General Noble.
In this respect, a joint INTERPOL-UNODC criminal intelligence analysis training course designed to build police capacity in East Africa to combat maritime piracy was held in January and February this year at the Seychelles Police Academy.
With talks between the ministers and the Head of INTERPOL therefore taking in the need to build capacity and train police in the Seychelles and across East Africa to effectively combat maritime piracy, Secretary General Noble strongly commended the ‘exemplary efforts by authorities in the Seychelles to work internationally with INTERPOL's global network by sharing information and prosecution intelligence, which are vital in establishing links between maritime piracy cases'.
The Head of INTERPOL’s Maritime Piracy Taskforce, Pierre St Hilaire, said: “The essential role to be played by law enforcement against maritime piracy has been recognized by the United Nations and the European Union. In this endeavour, the Seychelles is a vital frontline partner in international efforts to effectively address the transnational threat of maritime piracy."
In April of this year, the United Nations Security Council passed a Resolution which aims to boost anti-piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia by urging all member countries to co-operate with INTERPOL to secure successful prosecutions. Previously, in November 2010, it unanimously endorsed a resolution which 'urges states, in co-operation with INTERPOL and Europol, to further investigate international criminal networks involved in piracy off the coast of Somalia, including those responsible for illicit financing and facilitation'.
The European Union in December 2010 adopted a Decision which will see the EU’s on-going military operation against maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia use INTERPOL’s global network and tools to fight the criminal networks behind piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
The meeting in the Seychelles between Minister Joel Morgan (pictured right) and Secretary General Noble focused on the need for international counter-piracy operations and prosecutions to work with international law enforcement.