13 Feb 2011

Pirates handed over to police in Mumbai

7:38 am on 13 February 2011

A group of 28 Somali pirates captured in the Indian Ocean on Sunday have been handed over to police in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay).

They were apprehended aboard a Thai fishing trawler by the Indian Navy and Coastguard. Twenty-four fishermen held since last April were also rescued.

The pirates are due to appear in court in Mumbai.

A ransom of $US9 million had been demanded for the release of the 24 fishermen after the trawler was hijacked last April.

The BBC reports piracy in the Indian Ocean is on the increase as pirates seek to avoid naval patrols elsewhere.

In January 2010, 15 suspected pirates were captured near the Lakshadweep Islands off the coast of the state of Kerala. They are now facing trial in India.