Netherlands deports 23 Somali pirates

A combined task force arrest suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia
A combined task force arrest suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia. (Photo: Jason R. Zalasky / Wikimedia Commons)

During the first months of this year the Netherlands deported 23 Somali pirates, according to figures the Ministry of Security and Justice's Repatriation and Departure Service released on Monday, AD reports.

The pirates were intercepted by Dutch navy vessels at sea in 2012. The Netherlands started contributing to tracking pirates off the coast of Somalia in 2011. The now deported pirates were brought onto a Dutch naval vessel, which is considered Dutch territory, and arrested. They were brought to the Netherlands where they were tried and sentenced. All 23 finished serving their sentences. 

Jannita Robberse, general director of the Repatriation and Departure Service, also admitted that the Service has "no idea" whether 8,100 failed asylum seekers actually left the Netherlands. They are registered as "departed independently", but whether they actually did so is unclear. Some likely ended up in the so-called bed, bath and bread shelters for undocumented migrants and failed asylum seekers.

"We have to be honest about it", Robberse said, according to the newspaper. "We can not say with certainty where they are and if they really left our country. We have no idea." Robberse did not want to comment on the matter much, since shelter for undocumented migrants and failed asylum seekers is a topic being discussed in the government formation negotiations. "I can only say that at these locations [bed, bath and bread shelters] we locally try to move people to leave the country after all."

A total of 2,220 failed asylum seekers were deported by force.

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