Post Incident Reporting
12.1 Following any piracy attack or suspicious activity, it is vital that a detailed report of the event (as per Annex D of this document), is provided to UKMTO and MSCHOA. It is also helpful to provide a copy of the report to the IMB. It is important that the report contains descriptions and distinguishing features of any suspicious vessels that were observed. This will ensure full analysis and trends in piracy activity are established and will enable assessment of piracy techniques or changes in tactics, in addition to ensuring appropriate warnings can be issued to other merchant shipping in the vicinity.
12.2 Masters are, therefore, requested to complete the standardised piracy report form contained in Annex D.
12.3 Note that ship operators may also be required to forward a copy of the completed standardised piracy attack report (contained in Annex D) to their Flag State, and in any event are encouraged to do so.
Prosecution of Pirates - Assisting Law Enforcement Authorities.
12.4 For Naval/Military forces to hold suspected pirates, following a piracy incident, a witness statement from those affected by the piracy incident is required. Seafarers are encouraged to provide witness statements to Naval/Military forces or law enforcement officers as appropriate when requested to do so to enable suspected pirates to be held and handed over to prosecuting States. Without supporting evidence, including witness statements from those affected by the piracy incident, suspected pirates are unlikely to be prosecuted.
12.5 Law enforcement authorities will routinely request permission to conduct post-release crew debriefs and to collect evidence for ongoing and future investigations and prosecutions following captivity. A thorough investigation is critical to ensure that potential physical evidence, including electronic evidence, is not tainted or destroyed or potential witnesses overlooked. The company and crew are advised that the quality of evidence provided and the availability of the crew to testify will significantly help any investigation or prosecution that follows.
12.6 INTERPOL is an international police organisation with 188 member countries which facilitates cross border police co-operation to combat international crime.
12.7 INTERPOL has a secure website to provide support to ship operators who have had their vessels hijacked by pirates.
INTERPOL recognises that seafarers as the victims of piracy must be dealt with in a sympathetic and professional manner. INTERPOL’s Maritime Piracy Task Force can assist in taking the appropriate steps to preserve the integrity of the evidence left behind at the crime scene. INTERPOL has a Command and Co ordination Centre (CCC) which supports any of the 188 member countries faced with a crisis situation or requiring urgent operational assistance. The CCC operates in all four of INTERPOL’s official languages (English, French, Spanish and Arabic) and is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is recommended that ship operators contact INTERPOL within 3 days of a hijacking of their vessel.
12.8 INTERPOL may be consulted to discuss the recommended best practices and protocols for the preservation of evidence or other physical clues that could be useful to law enforcement agents pursuing an investigation of the incident. The 24hr telephone contact details for the CCC and INTERPOL’s Maritime Task Force website are contained in Annex A and set out below:
CCC 24hr telephone helpline: +33(0) 4 72 44 76 76