Defense Minister Adam Shareef Umar has confirmed the two sea vessels captured by local security forces during last week are pirates.
The captured vessels had hoisted Somalian flags on the boats to falsify their identity to Maldivian authorities.
Speaking during the convocation ceremony of the basic training course for the new recruits of Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), Minister Umar said that the suspects on board both vessels captured have now been identified as hardened pirates who had been operating at large within their own waters for years.
Defense Minister had praised the bravado and professionalism shown by the defense forces in capturing these foreign pirates.
The first group of pirates were captured on Friday, last week when authorities were able to apprehend 9 individuals identified as Thailand nationals trying to reach the country from Somalia through Maldivian waters. MNDF's Coast Guard unit had captured a second boat the following day which harbored 12 Thai nationals.
All the captured suspects have been now brought under Police custody for further questioning.
MNDF confirms that the vessels had acquired permission prior to entering into Maldivian sovereign area, however they gained access into the border without a go-ahead from authorities.
The security force dispatched their Coast Guard unit following the erratic behavior of the crew members on the vessels.
Defense Minister had praised the Coast Guard officers and MNDF for their valiance and courage while serving and protecting the country efficiently.
The latest episode of pirates crossing into Maldivian comes years later an incident similar to this had occurred. A few years back, Maldivian authorities had to intervene a group of Somalian pirates who tread into Maldivian waters.