Larger deployment of forces will prevent pirate attacks: Navy Chief

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (ANI): Reacting to the recent arrest of Somali pirates in joint operation led by the Navy, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma said on Monday that a larger deployment of forces could prevent such attacks.

The Navy and Coast Guard on Friday captured 15 Somalian pirates in one of the biggest major anti-piracy operation closest to Indian shores. They also rescued over 20 Thai and Myanmarese fishermen from the pirate ship.

The pirates have been taken to Mumbai for detailed interrogation by a special team of officials from top security and Intelligence agencies. The Navy intercepted the pirate mother vessel Prantalay used by Somali pirates.

"The ship, which was in action, was a small fast-attack craft. So they did pick up the hostages with largely Thai and Myanmarese fishermen. The pirates are now being taken to Bombay (Mumbai) and they must have arrived there, and the matter will be prosecuted further," said Admiral Verma.

He further said that since the past year, Somali pirates have moved their activities closer to the Indian coast.

"One disturbing trend we found from the middle of last year, particularly from the month of October and November, that some of the piracy incidents were happening closer to our waters. We can say about 300 miles off the Indian mainland and 100 miles off the Minicoy and Lakshwadweep islands.

"So what we have done since November last year, we have deployed larger number of ships and crafts, both from the Navy and the Coast Guard, as well as surveillance has set again from both the services to ensure our presence in this area," he said.

Admiral Verma added the pirates had built up their oceanic capabilities by using hijacked merchant ships as 'mother ships' for their operations. (ANI)

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