Investigating sea piracy: crime scene challenges

In April 2011, the authors assisted a task team comprised of forensic investigators and detectives to conduct a crime scene investigation on board a very large crude carrier (VLCC) at sea off Durban, South Africa. The VLCC had been held hostage by Somali pirates for 58 days prior to the investigation. This article examines the investigative challenges faced by the forensic investigators and detectives who conducted the investigation and processed forensic evidence on the VLCC which had effectively been declared a major crime scene. Qualitative data for the article was generated from questionnaires completed by the forensic investigators and the detectives who attended the crime scene and who apart from elaborating on the challenges they consider unique to processing a major maritime crime scene also include suggestions which they believe may assist in establishing best practices for dealing with and processing physical evidence at future major maritime crime scenes.


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01603875
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2016 9:22AM