Monday, December 12, 2011

Maritime Piracy: Still a Growth Business

No one seems to care. British ex-servicemen battling to protect international shipping from Somali pirates | Mail Online

Could it be that authorities in the Horn of Africa are working with the pirates?
Minutes earlier, the Djibouti police had boarded the ship to take charge of their AK-47s, because they were in Djibouti waters without the correct permits. The guns would be taken to the port armoury to be locked in packing cases stamped with the security firm’s logo. That meant the British team were now guarding, unarmed, a multimillion-dollar target, in the most dangerous seas in the world, the Somali-pirate-infested waters around the Horn of Africa. Just then the dots in the distance turned into the sight they’d been dreading.

‘Fifteen minutes after the Djibouti police took our weapons, over the horizon came a whole load of fishing boats,’ says Matt, who served in the SAS before leaving 20 years ago to work in the highly secretive – and lucrative – ex-special-forces industry known as ‘The Circuit’.
This is an interesting look at the folks who are trying to do something about the state of piracy in the Gulf of Aden. And it is a reminder that the problem hasn't gone away, even if the news media (*spit*) hasn't got the time to cover anything like real news. (Not when celebrities are getting kicked off airplanes for refusing to shut down electronic devices.)
At the time of writing, so far this year there have been 228 attacks by Somali pirates, 26 successful hijackings and 450 people taken hostage – an increase on last year. There are currently 11 ships and 194 crew members being held in the pirate anchorages off the coast of Somalia.
In a less "civilized" age, the pirates would have been killed by marines (both the British and American marines have fought pirates). But now we know that is crass.

So far, the official .gov response on all sides has been less than effective. One might almost call it a cluster-fuck. So private firms are trying to stitch together solutions, made harder by the fact that "guns are bad" is still a feeling shared by a lot of the governments of the world. (Look at that first quote - the "authorities" confiscated the guns, right before their friends sailed over the horizon. Or do you believe in coincidence?)

1 comment:

Rich E said...

Most likely the authorities messaged the fishing boats that it was all clear for them...