n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Prosecuting the Somali pirates : the law enforcement approach

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Media reports that Somali pirates are holding seafarers to ransom in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Western Indian Ocean are, unfortunately, not an infrequent occurrence. Robust action by the naval fleets of various states and naval alliances operating in the area since 2008 has led to the capture of many pirates. More than half of the detained suspected pirates, however, have been released without being prosecuted. Clearly the states prosecuting pirates captured at sea in the region face considerable difficulties. This paper examines those difficulties and suggests that following the law enforcement approach will produce the desired outcome, namely successful prosecution. In reaching this conclusion, the law enforcement approach is analysed in terms of arrest, investigation and prosecution.

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