The war on piracy in the Horn of Africa has received a major boost following the capture of one of the world’s most wanted Somali pirate leaders, Mohamed Garad.
Garad, a former British soldier, is said to have been arrested together with 12 other suspected pirates on April 4 by Iranian commandos after they hijacked a Chinese cargo ship.
The co-ordinator of the East African Seafarers Association, Mr Andrew Mwangura, said Garad was captured after the seizure of the Chinese vessel, Xianghuamen, last week.
In case you’re feeling uncomfortable about rooting for the Iranians here, don’t. Piracy may be unique in international affairs for its ability to bring enemies together. Pakistan has saved Indian sailors from Somali pirates. China and Taiwan, same thing. The U.S. Navy saved Iranian sailors practically every weekend in January. Cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria, etc.
If the report is accurate, it will be very interesting to see where “Garad” (an alias) ends up being tried. He was captured by the Iranian Navy onboard a Chinese-flagged ship, and is wanted for crimes by any number of nations with vessels associated with Garad, as well as by the Puntland authorities. My bet is that Iran will send him to China for trial – China has the most obvious jurisdiction and this is a great chance for them to gain a lot of international cred and boost their reputation as a world power. And Iran wouldn’t mind one bit if China owed them a favor in the UN or two.