Minelayer in pirate catch and release

Any pirates captured off the Somali coast by Finnish ships are likely to be released as no nation will accept them for trial. The minelayer Pohjanmaa, which belongs to the Finnish Navy, arrived in the Gulf of Aden this week to join an EU anti-piracy mission. But, according to the ship’s commander, the fate of any detainees is still uncertain.

“Sadly, the majority of the captured will be set free because not a single state in Africa, Europe or North America wants to receive them. If we consider the previous years, only a few were extradited to Germany and Kenya,” said Pohjanmaa Commander Mika Raunu.

The EU’s Atalanta initiative, which intends to monitor fishing activities off the Somali coast and protect the World Food Programme’s operations in the country, is also seeking to provide protection for vessels at risk of hijacking.

The mission was launched in December 2008 and is the EU’s primary maritime crisis management operation. This is the first time the iconic Finnish vessel has taken part in the scheme.


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