Published On: Sat, Jul 27th, 2013

Australian Civilian Corps helps build legal muscle to fight Indian Ocean piracy

ACC specialist Wayne Bastin (centre) with RAPPICC colleagues and HMAS Newcastle crew members, Victoria, Seychelles. Photo: AusAID

ACC specialist Wayne Bastin (centre) with RAPPICC colleagues and HMAS Newcastle crew members, Victoria, Seychelles. Photo: AusAID

Australian Civilian Corps law and justice specialist Wayne Bastin is putting his skills and experience to work in the Seychelles to help combat piracy in the Indian Ocean.
Mr Bastin has been deployed to train and mentor investigators and analysts at the Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution and Intelligence Coordination Centre (RAPPICC). His work will ensure they have the criminal justice skills they need to prosecute the financiers, investors and ringleaders of piracy in the region.
Set up in 2012, RAPPICC is an initiative of the United Kingdom to develop a long-lasting law enforcement capacity in the region. Their aim is to reduce pirates’ perception of immunity from prosecution and ultimately release the region from the threat of piracy.
Piracy in the Indian Ocean is a serious concern to Australia and the international community. It undermines development efforts and has significant humanitarian, security and trade impacts. Billions of dollars in Australian goods transit the Indian Ocean each year.
Since his arrival, Mr Bastin has been working with the RAPPICC’s partner agencies to design and deliver individual training plans and build the investigative skills of RAPPICC staff.
He met the Australian High Commissioner to Mauritius, HE Sandra Vegting, who gave her support to his efforts during a visit to the Seychelles late last month. Ms Vegting was in the Seychelles to sign a Partnership Arrangement with RAPPICC on behalf of Australia.
As part of the signing, RAPPICC staff met the crew of the HMAS Newcastle, which hosted the signing. The teams exchanged insights into handling incidences of suspected piracy.
‘The Australian Civilian Corps deployment to the Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecutions and Intelligence Coordination Centre will make a valuable contribution to the high-priority objective of combating Indian Ocean piracy,’ Ms Vegting said.
The Australian Civilian Corps deployment complements the Australian Government’s broader package of support to the region.
Australia has been supporting the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) regional counter-piracy program since its inception in 2009. This assistance has included funding from AusAID and secondments from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to build the capacity of states in the Indian Ocean region to detain and prosecute piracy suspects.
AusAID is providing a further $2 million over 2012–14 for regional counter-piracy efforts, including further support to the UNODC Counter-Piracy Programme and additional AFP secondments.
The Australian Civilian Corps is a group of experienced civilian specialists who provide stabilisation and recovery assistance to fragile states and countries experiencing or emerging from conflict or natural disaster. They provide a flexible and timely Australian response designed to bridge the gap between humanitarian and emergency relief and long-term development programs.

Via: Ausaid

http://ausaid.gov.au/HotTopics/Pages/Display.aspx?QID=1221

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