When a Royal Navy warship captured a crew of Somali pirates, it seemed like a rare chance to strike back at the ruthless sea gangsters.
The 17 outlaws were armed with an arsenal of AK 47s and rocket-propelled grenades, and had forced hostages on a hijacked fishing vessel to work as slaves for three months.
But instead of bringing them to justice, the British servicemen were ordered to provide the pirates halal meals, medical checks, cigarettes – and in one case even a nicotine patch – before releasing them in their own boats.
Menace: A skiff carrying Somali pirates speds across the Indian Ocean, where they are causing mayhem
The extraordinary treatment – revealed in a Radio 4 documentary to be broadcast tonight – came at a time when Somali piracy is causing mayhem to shipping in the Indian Ocean.
More than £60million was paid in ransoms last year and pirates currently hold 30 ships and nearly 800 hostages.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1375884/Pampered-pirates-Royal-Navy-seizes-17-armed-Somalis-gives-halal-meat-nicotine-patches–sets-free.html#ixzz1JHGMWsGz
(Later on in the article there is this absolute gem: “He also said he was unconvinced that they had enough evidence to convict the pirates – even though they were heavily armed, were carrying hostages and had confessed.”)