Stating that Somali pirates have been expanding their area of operations rapidly, a senior Indian naval official on Friday said the activities of the pirates have almost reached Lakshadweep, the tiniest union territory of India.
"Initially, they used to operate off the coast. Now they have changed their whole method of operation. They are hijacking a large number of ships... They have a large number of people as hostages. They are expanding their operations north and south. Now they have almost reached Lakshadweep," Commodore Brian A Thomas, naval officer-in-charge, West Bengal, told reporters in Kolkata.
"The issue of Somali piracy has only come up from about 2008 onwards. There (in Somalia) no political system is functioning. So the youngsters found it (piracy) a very lucrative profession," he said.
Informing that the pirates recently attempted to hijack a ship near Lakshadweep, Thomas said Indian naval ships, however, stopped them.
"The pirates have been captured," he added.
Piracy is widespread in the waters off Somalia, which has been in near-anarchy without a functioning government for almost two decades.