Nine Somali pirates were arrested by the French Navy last week after they attempted to highjack a 150,000-dwt crude oil tanker, AFRICAN RUBY. The pirates used two small boats to chase the tanker which issued an immediate distress signal. The French patrol frigate FNS FLOREAL, which is normally based in Reunion dispatched a naval helicopter to the aid of the tanker and after a chase brought them to bay and secured their capture.
Since April last year the French Navy has been responsible for arresting 57 suspected pirates off the Somali coast.
The French success took place as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) convened a high level meeting in nearby Djibouti to discuss the rise of piracy in the region. The IMO is looking to reach agreements on assisting countries in the region to strengthen their own capabilities of combating piracy and armed robbery against shipping passing their shores.