Skip to comments.A very British export: guns and mercenaries to fight piracy in Somalia
Posted on 07/12/2013 5:29:01 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
It is four years since raiders based on the Somali coast began to terrorise the busy shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean, and in that time the maritime security business has mushroomed on an unprecedented scale. It is now worth £100m a year to British companies according to ADS, a trade organisation for the UK's aerospace, defence, security and space industries.
UK-based maritime security companies account for some 75% of the market, and more than 300 security companies operate in the Indian Ocean region. "We absolutely dominate the market," says Paul Gibson, a former director of counterterrorism at the Ministry of Defence who now directs the Security in Complex Environments Group, which was established by ADS in 2011.
In Sri Lanka, private military security companies involved in anti-piracy operations store their munitions and weapons. Further export control statistics show that export licences for £8.5m of specifically military items, together with £36.8m worth of dual-use (civil and military) items, were granted last year for exports to Kenya another base for maritime security companies (and, incidentally, pirate bosses).
The export records come with a footnote explaining exactly what is being sent to protect the shipping lanes: "Licences were issued for use in maritime anti-piracy operations assault rifles, body armour, components for assault rifles, components for pistols, components for rifles, direct view imaging equipment, military helmets, pistols, rifles, small arms ammunition, weapon sights, components for body armour, components for sporting guns, high quantities of sporting guns and combat shotguns."
The increased focus on security at sea appears to be working. To date, no ship with armed guards has been hijacked in the Indian Ocean, a region that saw 189 pirate attacks in 2011 alone. Estimated ransom payments in that year were $160m (£106m), a considerable financial blow for many companies.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
An article on the good, the bad, and the ugly of maritime security: http://gcaptain.com/maritime-security-perception-or-reality/
The best way to deal with pirates is indeed mercenaries, but ones “without handcuffs”. Put a bounty on confirmed kills and boats scuttled. Mount some discreet cameras to capture the action. Once the mercenaries are paid, the recordings are destroyed.
They operate as Q-ships. Their boat looks like a cargo vessel, except it has a lot of hidden extras. The trap is baited by letting the pirates know that it has a valuable cargo.