Somali piracy spreading to Asian waters, says US military official

A high ranking US Military official has claimed that piracy originating from Somalia is expanding into Asia, potentially leading to “problems” for a nation like the Maldives, according to news reports.

Miadhu reported that Admiral Robert Willard, who has recently toured the Maldives in his role as commander of the 300,000 strong Pacific Command, claimed President Mohamed Nasheed had expressed concerns that pirates whether abandoned or lost during, had been landing in the Maldives.

Several dinghies containing Somali nationals were stranded in the Maldives last year. Defence personnel discovered a bullet casing in one of the later dinghies.

A recent Minivan News investigation found that although there was no evidence that national interests in the Maldives had been threatened so far by piracy, coastal security authorities and experts believed the country could potentially become a target for pirate vessels increasingly forced away from African waters by the naval presence in the Gulf of Aden.