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Follow Indian Navy’s approach

world Updated: Nov 22, 2008 01:23 IST

Advocating that all foreign Navies present in the African waters conduct “stop and search” operation of suspicious vessels like India did, a top official of an international maritime agency on Friday said that it can help disrupt piracy operations.

“If the naval boats can stop and check suspicious trawlers and boats for arms, RPGs, ladders etc and confiscate them, this alone can sabotage piracy plans,” Noel Choon, Head of the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre said.

He praised the Indian Naval Ship Tabar’s attack on the pirate’s mother ship in the Gulf of Aden and said other navies should follow Indian navy’s example. Malaysia has also commended the Indian navy’s action.

Foreign Minister Rais Yatim told the ongoing APEC meeting in Lima that the forum should get all nations to quickly enforce the recent UN Security Council Resolution 1816 to combat piracy in international waters as it would make global trade safer.

“It is imperative and timely for all APEC member economies to consider measures to address the issue of piracy in international waters in an effective manner,” Rais said, adding that Malaysia was ready to work with other countries which shared the same predicament in the region.

“We can use UN Resolution 1816 as the basis to work together to ensure human security and secure trade,” he said.

“These piracy activities have not only disrupted the free flow of trade but have also endangered the lives of crew members on board. The scourge of terrorism and international waters piracy has taken its toll on states, with several APEC economies, including Malaysia, having become victims to acts of piracy thousands of miles away from our shores, Rais said.

Choon, said that it would be difficult for other Navies to detain pirates due to the prevailing law of the land, but searching boats for weapons can be a first step towards tackling the problem.

“As long as there is no firm deterrent, piracy will continue in the African waters,” Choon said, adding the involvement of the international community and bodies like the United Nations was needed to help stamp out sea piracy.