Friday, April 26, 2013

Puntland Maritime Forces Reportedly Detain 78 Iranian Sailors

Somalia: Puntland Maritime Forces Capture 78 Iranian Sailors for Illegal Fishing

25 APRIL 2013

The Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) on Wednesday (April 24th) arrested 78 Iranian sailors and 12 Somalis who were illegally fishing off the coast of Bosaso.

The men had five boats when they were captured between Elanyo and Qow districts, located 45 kilometres west of Bosaso, PMPF Commander Abdirazaq Dirie Farah told Sabahi. "We began the operation on Monday when we were tipped off that illegal fishing boats were in those districts," Farah said.

"The Somalis accompanying [the Iranians] engaged us in a gunfight, but we were successful in overcoming them and captured them all after a short period."

He said the Iranian sailors and their guards, who are natives of the Puntland region, will be brought to justice as soon as possible. "We have information that other foreign ships and boats are present in Puntland and are engaged in illegal fishing," Farah said.

Farah said the maritime forces would continue their operation against foreign ships fishing illegally in Puntland waters.

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