On October 2, 2013, eleven pirates were convicted in the Seychelles Supreme Court of committing acts of piracy and operating a pirate vessel from May 7-11, 2012. Their sentences ranged from 18 months to 16 years.
The pirates had been apprehended by the Royal Netherlands Navy frigate, HNLMS Van Amstel, on May 11, 2012, after the warship’s Lynx helicopter sighted a suspicious fishing dhow towing two skiffs, 400 nautical miles off the Somali coast.
When the warship’s boarding team approached the dhow, the Dutch Navy crew found 11 suspected armed pirates of Somali origin and a total of 17 Iranian fishermen hostages on board.
After taking the suspected pirates to HNLMS Van Amstel, the Dutch boarding team found significant evidence that linked the 11 men to an armed attack on Motor Tanker Super Lady a few days earlier.
The Royal Netherlands Navy has contributed warships to the EU Naval Force since the EU counter piracy operation began in December 2008. The current EU Naval Force flagship is HNLMS Johan de Witt, with Commodore Peter Lenselink embarked as the Force Commander.