To bring justice for the murder of four abducted American citizens aboard the yacht QUEST off the coast of East Africa, the Federal District Court of Virginia sentenced the Somali pirates for life for their involvement of the crime.
Reports say Somali Ahmed Muse Salad,” 25; Abukar Osman Beyle, 20; and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar, 29, were found guilty by jury of all 26 counts charged, including piracy, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, hostage taking resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death.
The abducted American citizens who were killed in February 2011 incident were Adam, Jean Adam, Phyllis Macay, and Robert Riggle.
The Somali pirates will serve life sentences in prison and will join over 1,000 pirates operating in the region that have been brought to justice in 20 countries around the world in recent years.
In a press statement by US Spokesperson Jen Psaki, the Department of State welcomes August 2 sentencing of three Somali pirates.
She reports that a federal jury in Norfolk, Virginia convicted the three Somali pirates on 26 counts, including piracy, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, hostage taking resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death, and multiple firearms offenses.
She adds that eleven of the other pirates who attacked the QUEST previously pleaded guilty in federal court in 2011 and were also sentenced to life in prison.
In addition, the onshore negotiator working for the pirates was also convicted and received multiple life sentences as well.
The US government also recognizes the outstanding work of the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, as well as the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
US on the mission to combat piracy globally
According to Ms. Psaki, although piracy remains a threat, the progress that has been made is significant.
She says the United States has joined with more than 80 countries, international organizations and industry groups to make significant progress against piracy through the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
The unique international partnership was launched in 2009 pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1851, is contributing to a significant decline in piracy off the Horn of Africa.
“The last successful pirate attack on a merchant vessel in the region occurred on May 10, 2012.” – Ms. Psaki
For the meantime, Somali pirates hold hostage one ship and approximately 60 mariners and that is a more than 90 percent reduction in hostages held by pirates since January 2011.
The US governmenr extends its condolences to the families whose lives have been forever changed by this tragedy, and will honor their memories by continued commitment to building robust diplomatic partnerships to promote maritime security worldwide.
US outlines pproaches to tackling piracy off the coast of Somalia
The Obama administration developed and pursued an integrated multi-dimensional approach to combat piracy.
The overriding objective of which was to make sure that piracy didn’t pay.
Piracy is based on the potential to make money by preying on the vast supply of ships that pass through the waters off Somalia.
The pirates today can no longer find helpless victims like they could in the past and pirates operating at sea now often operate at a loss.
International and an inter-agency effort is vital to tackle the piracy
First, the United States has helped lead the international response and galvanize international action.
All countries connected to the global economy have an interest in addressing piracy.
Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
In January 2009, the United States helped establish the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, which now includes over 80 nations and international, and industry organizations bound together on an ad hoc and purely voluntary basis.
The Contact Group meets frequently to coordinate national and international counter-piracy actions.
The Contact Group has become an essential forum as well and helps galvanize action and coordinate the counter-piracy efforts of states, as well as regional and international organizations.
Through the Contact Group, the international community has been able to coordinate multi-national naval patrols, work through the legal difficulties involved in addressing piracy, and cooperate to impede the financial flows of pirate networks.
Piracy continues to pose a severe threat to the maritime industry, global trade and therefore the entire global economy.
On 2010, 286 piracy-related incidents off the coast of Somalia were reported, resulting in 67 hijacked ships, with 1,130 seafarers on board; while a recent study estimated the cost to the world economy from disruptions to international trade at between $7 billion and $12 billion.