Speaking at the British Chamber of Shipping, Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham today outlined the UK’s ongoing commitment to tackle piracy off the coast of East Africa.
Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham said:
“This government is 100% behind a more robust response to piracy. I am pleased to announce that a UK-funded maritime intelligence and information coordination center will be set up in Seychelles. The FCO and Serious Organized Crime Agency are carrying out urgent work with the government of the Seychelles to take this forward.
“The new intelligence center will coordinate the tracking of financial flows and enforcement operations and will help collate the evidence needed to issue international arrest warrants and prosecute pirates.
“Pirate financiers are the kingpins of piracy, and targeting them effectively will have a huge impact on the ability of pirates to terrorize the high seas.”
In addition, Mr. Bellingham announced UK support for several of the UN’s projects to tackle piracy. This includes work in Somalia designed to prevent people from turning to piracy in the first place.
Mr. Bellingham continued:
“We have always been clear that the problem of piracy cannot be solved at sea when the causes of piracy lie on land. We must also help Somalia and its regions to develop their own capabilities to deter and detain pirates. I am pleased to announce that the UK will support work to ensure that this becomes a reality.”