Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt, today welcomed an important milestone in the fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean.
Alistair Burt officially opened the Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution & Intelligence Coordination Centre (RAPPICC) in the Seychelles. The RAPPICC will bring together experts from around the world to share intelligence and information which will help to tackle the king-pins and financiers of piracy.
Commenting at the ceremony for the Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution & Intelligence Coordination Centre (RAPPICC), the Minister said:
I welcome the vital work of the RAPPICC, which begins in earnest today. This centre will play a vital role in targeting the heart of the piracy operations: the leaders and financiers of piracy who feel as if they are able to act with impunity. By targeting those at the top the RAPPICC will perform a vital and unique function, and will support regional capacity in tackling serious organised maritime crime in Somalia and across the Indian Ocean.
At the London Conference on Somalia 2012, the Prime Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the President of the Seychelles, during which the UK committed £550,000 towards the construction costs of the RAPPICC. We are also providing the centre’s first co-Director and one other UK officer.
The RAPPICC will be staffed by a number of international partners, including from the region. We currently expect participants in the centre from the UK, the Seychelles, the US, Tanzania, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Australia, INTERPOL and EUNAVFOR.
Read about the UK policy Preventing and reducing piracy off the coast of Somalia
In January Alistair Burt set out how the FCO’s maritime security programme funds will be spent this year