Kenyan police arrests five suspected Somali pirates

20:04, November 15, 2010      

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Kenyan police in the coastal town of Lamu have arrested five suspected Somali pirates heading towards Kiunga near the border with Somalia, after they claimed to have swum to the shores when their boat capsized on Saturday.

But the theory was not well received by the security personnel, who suspect that the five were on a mission to attack ships in the deep seas.

According to the Lamu police boss, Samson Ole Kinne, the suspects were found at Baragoni area, some 25 km on Saturday from Mokowe jetty by the officers.

Their arrest comes barely two days after another batch of suspected pirates attempted to attack a naval ship, leading to the shooting of three men, and arrest of two, the following day. "The explanation given to us is that they were on a fishing expedition when their boat capsized, but we don't buy it," Ole Kinne.

The senior police boss said despite the claims that the suspects had swum to shore after their boat developed mechanical problems and capsized, they still had on them their full cloths and shoes. "I do not think it is possible for someone to swim with the shoes on, and all the cloths, considering they had capsized in the deep seas," he said.

The officer said the men, aged between 20 and 25 years, did not look exhausted and further dismissed the 'swimming' theory.

The group is being detained at the Lamu police station and will be arraigned in court as soon as an interpreter is sought.

They will however be charged with being in the country illegally and failing to register themselves as aliens, with the police boss saying there were no sufficient grounds to prosecute them for piracy. "Trying them for piracy cannot hold, as much as we do not trust their version, there is nothing much we can do since we have no evidence," Ole Kinne said.

At the same time, the police boss revealed that the two piracy suspects arrested by the naval officers in Kiunga, after they attacked their ship, have been ferried to Lamu from Kiunga.

Ole Kinne said the duo will be handed over to the Criminal Investigative department (CID) in Mombasa, for commencement of investigations, before they are charged in court.

Source: Xinhua


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