Source: Seychelles Nation
A ground-breaking ceremony yesterday marked the start of construction of a new anti-piracy centre.
The centre in Seychelles, called the Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution and Intelligence Coordination Centre (RAPPICC), will be based at the former coastguard base at Bois de Rose.
The Rappicc project was initiated in February this year when President James Michel was invited as a guest of the British government to the London Conference on Somalia. Rappicc was discussed and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the United Kingdom and Seychelles, represented by Prime Minister David Cameron and President Michel.
In yesterday’s ground-breaking ceremony, the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan, said the world is today a smaller place and strong relationships with regional and international partners are essential in order to fully maximise resources and knowledge.
“Rappicc is the result of such collaboration and marks a fresh and dynamic way of working and sharing that expertise. Partners are crucial in this venue. Today we have representatives from Interpol, the United States, the Netherlands, France and UNODC,” he said.
The British high commissioner, Lindsay Skoll, then joined Minister Morgan in symbolically breaking the ground where the building is due to be constructed (right).
Speaking to the press, Mr Morgan said the centre will be one for investigation, prosecution and intelligence gathering of people involved in piracy, who support, finance and provide weapons and boats for piracy activities.
“Rappicc will target these people, gather information on them and bring them to justice,” he said.
Speaking about another recently opened centre located right opposite where Rappicc will be built, Mr Morgan said although different, they will definitely complement each other’s work.
“The recently launched anti-piracy cell is a project with the Indian Ocean Commission, which forms part of our project to combat piracy at the Indian Ocean level. Their different roles do not contradict, on the contrary they are working in synergy,” he said.
The director for Rappicc, Garry Crone, said Rappicc represents the first time that industry, law enforcement, police, intelligence and the military come together to work in partnership to address the issue of piracy.
“We started work a couple of months ago, working very closely with Seychelles agencies, but also trying to get international partners to come on board, and make everything coordinated so we get the best possible outcome,” he said.
Rappicc is expected to be completed by the end of January next year and is supposed to start operating in February.
This article was posted by Neptune Maritime Security via oceanuslive.org. MaritimeSecurity.Asia in cooperation with www.neptunemaritimesecurity.com