• Spain's news in English

Six Somali pirates jailed in Spain

AFP · 5 Feb 2015, 08:55

Published: 05 Feb 2015 08:55 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The six men have been held in a Spanish jail since November 2012 since being caught by Dutch sailors after they ambushed the Izurdia off the Horn of Africa using AK-47 assault rifles.

Spain's National Court, the country top criminal court, convicted the six of piracy and membership of a criminal group.

In its ruling the court said the six men formed "an assault cell or organised pirate group with material to board and kidnap commercial boats that sailed in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia.

The court said they were part of an organisation, based in Zimbabwe capital Harare, dedicated to enriching itself from  assaulting and kidnapping boats in the Horn of Africa.

The court said the six armed men approached the Izurdia on a skiff on October 10, 2012 about 300 nautical miles off the Somali coast.

They aborted their attempted ambush after private security guards on board the Spanish trawler fired shots at them.

A Dutch navy ship taking part in the European Union's anti-piracy operation Atalanta detained them the following day and handed the six men over to Spanish authorities.

A Spanish court in 2013 convicted another six Somalis for piracy and sentenced them to between eight and 12 and a half years in jail for attacking a Spanish warship in 2012 off the coast of Somalia.

Story continues below…

In 2011, two Somalis were sentenced in Spain to 439 years in jail each for seizing a Spanish tuna-fishing boat in 2009 and holding its 36 crew members for 47 days.

Under Spanish law, they will serve only a maximum of 30 years in jail, regardless of the sentence.

Maritime piracy by Somalians in the Horn of Africa hit its peak in 2011, but has since waned significantly in the face of stepped-up international naval patrols.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available