Four Suspected Somali Pirates Handed over to Kenya
    2012-02-19 05:34:23     Xinhua       Web Editor: Liuyuanhui
Four suspected Somali pirates who were captured by a Danish warship in the Indian Ocean were handed over to Kenyan authorities by the Netherlands Navy on Saturday.

The four suspects who were handed over to Kenya police in the coastal city of Mombasa were arrested in January.

According to sources privy to the arrests and investigations, the suspects, aged between 17-20 years, are hard core suspected pirates, and were in a group of eight, with the rest being handed over to the Seychelles authorities before the naval ship docked in Kenya.

Sources said the pirates were 25 in total, and that others were dropped at the Somali shores.

The handing over of the suspects is a positive indication that the international community and Kenyan government has now renewed cooperation in the fight over pirates, several months after the government expressed its frustrations over the process.

With over 100 suspects in prison in Mombasa, who are serving their term and others waiting for judgments, the government had expressed fears that Kenya is being used as a dumping ground for the suspects, and no support was given.

Mombasa Port police boss Agnes Mudambi Okanga confirmed that the four were captured as they tried to hijack a fishing vessel MV Tahiri off the coastal of Somalia on Jan. 7, 2011.

The four were airlifted by a Dutch Jet from the Indian Ocean to Moi International Airport where they were handed over to the Kenya authorities.

The official said the matter is being investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), and that several assorted weapons including rifles were seized during the attack.

The four will be arraigned in court later next week to face piracy charges. Pirate attacks have been common off the Somali coast and international navies have been deployed to counter them.

The suspects, all who spoke through a Somali interpreter, were dressed in t-shirts given to them by the arresting team.

"Due to security reasons, the names of the suspects and exact location they were arrested cannot be divulged at this stage, that is why their documentations and other details, have been kept," said one of the officials who did not want to be named.

The cloths they had on, will be used as exhibits, according to the officer. Officials from the state counsel's office were also present.

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