The Indian Navy and Coast Guard foiled yet another pirate attack and captured a group of Somali pirates Sunday morning in the South Arabian Sea, according to the Navy's Western Command.
The Indian forces also seized a pirate mother ship, the Prantalay-11, which had been used to attack the Greek-flag merchant ship Chios some 100 nautical miles west of Kavaratti, part of the Lakshadweep group of islands.
The latest operation came just 10 days after Indian forces thwarted an attack on the Bahamas-registered container ship CMA CGM Verdi Jan. 28 and destroyed the Prantalay-14, about 300 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep.
The joint operation was launched Saturday evening when the Western Command received an alert from the cargo ship that it was being chased by two high-speed skiffs.
"Naval ship INS Tir and Coast Guard ship ICGS Samar, which were already in the region on routine anti-piracy operations, were ordered to search, locate and intercept the skiffs and the mother vessel," the Navy said. "After locating the skiffs, the two ships asked the pirates to surrender, but they fired back and fled to their mother ship. The Tir and the Samar returned fire briefly after which the pirates raised white flags to surrender."
Indian officials said the Prantalay-11 was one in a series of several Thai fishing trawlers hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia about six months ago.
"The Prantalay-11 has been taken under tow by CGS Samar and the Coast Guard ship is now en route to Mumbai where the 28 pirates and the pirate mother-vessel will be handed over to local intelligence agencies for investigation," the officials said.
Following a spurt in piracy incidents off the Indian coast in recent months, the Navy and Coast Guard have intensified patrols in the Arabian Sea with deployment of additional frigates and destroyers.