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Somali pirates sentenced in Mauritius


Mauritius on Thursday sentenced twelve Somalis who ambushed a container ship in the Indian Ocean to five years each in jail.

The men were accused of firing on the MSC Jasmine, a Pana-manian-flagged container ship in January 2013, before being captured by naval anti-piracy forces and transferred to Mauritius for trial.

The men, aged between 22 and 47, had been acquitted in November 2014 but prosecutors appealed, and in December last year a new trial was ordered.

During the sentencing the judge said the three years they have already served will taken off their jail time

The Indian Ocean is tussling ever increasing piracy incidents. The incursions reached their peak in 2011, when Somali gangs attacked 237 vessels and held 216 hostages. The gangs have made an estimated $2 million for every ship ransomed.

Anti-piracy patrols by international warships and armed guards aboard commercial vessels which now sail faster and further away from the Somali coast have largely suppressed incidents of piracy.

Although Mauritius was not directly affected, the Indian Ocean island nation feared for its maritime trade as well as the many luxury cruises that feed its economy.


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