Dutch EU Naval Force Frigate 'De Ruyter' apprehends 9 suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia.
A Panama-flagged merchant ship reported the presence of the pirate group and soon after the warship's helicopter located the two skiffs, whose occupants threw material overboard, and split up in an attempt to escape. The first skiff was stopped by assets of the Dutch frigate. The second skiff was located and stopped with support of the helicopter from the EU Naval Force flagship ESPS Mendez Nunez.
The nine suspected pirates are being held on board HNLMS De Ruyter for further investigation and evidence collection in order to fully assess the possibility of prosecution. The two attack skiffs were seized.
EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia - Operation Atalanta is part of the EU's comprehensive approach to tackle symptoms and root causes of piracy off the coast of Somalia and the EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa adopted in November 2011.