Announcement

UK signs agreement with Mauritius to transfer suspected pirates for prosecution

Mauritius is the latest in a series of countries to agree to take suspected pirates for prosecution.

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) allows for the transfer of suspected pirates from Royal Navy vessels to Mauritius for prosecution. The UK has signed MOUs with the Seychelles (2010) and Tanzania (2012).

The UK is leading international work with countries in and around the Indian Ocean to build penal, judicial and law enforcement capacities, and to encourage regional states to change national laws to allow prosecution of cases where they have been detained at sea with piratical equipment, but no actual piracy attack can be proved.

We particularly want to see an end to pirates being captured and then released purely because there is nowhere to prosecute and imprison them. We must break the piracy business cycle. A key part of achieving this is the willingness of countries in the region to take suspected pirates for prosecution.

Today the Prime Minister joined a meeting between FCO Minister Henry Bellingham and Mauritian Prime Minister, Dr Navin Ramgoolam in Downing Street to sign an agreement which will allow the Royal Navy to transfer suspected pirates to Mauritius for prosecution. We welcome the commitment shown by Mauritius to tackle piracy in the Indian Ocean with today’s signing of the memorandum of understanding.

Following the signing, Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“I was delighted to meet with Prime Minister Ramgoolam this morning to sign an agreement which will allow the Royal Navy to transfer suspected pirates to Mauritius for prosecution.

“This is an important step forward following the London and Istanbul Conferences on Somalia this year and another sign that countries in the Indian Ocean region are stepping up their efforts against piracy. Piracy is a violent crime and pirates should be in no doubt that they will be arrested at sea, prosecuted in regional states and imprisoned.”