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Spain calls for blockade of pirate ports

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Spain calls for blockade of pirate ports


Spain is calling for Europe to take a tougher stance in dealing with piracy on the high seas.
It wants the multinational naval force to blockade  the three main ports from which Somali pirates appear to be operating.
In an interview on Spanish National Radio, Spain’s  Defence Minister, Carme Chacon said she would bring the matter up at next week’s meeting of EU Foreign Ministers.
 She also called for cooperation in tracing the ransoms paid to pirates.
“ The international community has to cut the source of funding, which gets to the pirates not only from the ransoms but also via payments  made by organised criminals using European law firms,” said Carme Chacon.
Spain is currently holding two pirates whose release is being demanded by their Somali accomplices in exchange for the safe return of 36 Basque trawlermen. The Alakrana was captured 40 days ago and is being held somewhere off the Somali coast.
A Greek cargo ship, the Filitsa, is the latest vessel to be seized. It was hijacked 400 nautical miles northeast off the Seychelles.
In an effort to repel widespread international  criticism that they were not doing enough to combat the problem, Somali police say they have increased their raids on pirate camps and detained weapons and suspects.

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