Four Somali pirates were jailed after a Paris court found them guilty of hijacking French superyacht Le Ponant in 2008.
Six men aged between 25 and 50 years old were accused of holding 30 crew hostage in exchange for a €2.15m ransom four years ago. According to BBC news, the superyacht was seized in the Gulf of Aden whilst she was travelling from the Seychelles to Yemen to collect passengers.
The crew were freed after the superyacht’s owner paid the ransom a week later.
One of the men accused of piracy pleaded guilty in court, apologising to the crew, their families and France. He was handed a 10-year prison sentence. The remaining five pleaded their innocence at the trial, claiming they had no part in the assault. Two were acquitted whilst three others were jailed for between four and 10 years.
According to ITN news this is the second case of its kind to come before the courts in Paris. A trial in November last year imprisoned five Somalis for between four and eight years after they were found guilty of hijacking superyacht Carre d’As.
Click here to read about one of the ways superyacht owners can protect themselves, and their crew, from similar threats.