E.R. Lubeck: Pirates caught and released?
On 12th March, after receiving a report from MV E.R. LUBECK (Liberian Flag, German owner Erck Rickmers), that pirates in 2 skiffs had tried to hijack her,
HNLMS TROMP proceeded at best speed to assist, locating a skiff and firing several warning shots before the 10 metres long mother ship (whaler) stopped. A boarding party soon took control of the boat with two persons onboard. HNLMS TROMP continued to search the area and, the following day, found two suspicious skiffs with 7 persons onboard about one hundred nautical miles from the whaler. Some equipment had been jettisoned but ladders and weapons were found onboard the skiffs. All equipment was confiscated and the mother ship was destroyed.
Early on morning, 17 March, two small skiffs made a fast approach on the EU NAVFOR Dutch HNLMS TROMP with a third boat, the suspected pirates’ mother ship, uncovered ammunition and some rocket propelled grenades. Ten suspects were held on board the warship before being released to one of their boats.
The nine men found on board the vessels had satellite telephones, ladders, AK-47 automatic rifles and a rocket launcher with them. All equipment was confiscated and the boats destroyed.
The outgoing Deputy Minister of Defence for the Netherlands, Jack de Vries, says a regional tribunal needs to be set up to try pirates.