As the Indian Ocean monsoons wane, international shipping companies are bracing themselves for a new season of piracy as Yemen adds to concerns. Sana’a, the capital, has seen days of bloody street battles.
“Yemen is spinning apart and people there are wondering where their next paycheck or meal is coming from,” says Michael Frodl, head of C-Level Maritime Risks, a US consultancy.
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Taking the fight to the pirates
Stand first—-When the Somali Pirates first struck, it was big news. We were all shocked with the reports coming out of the waters around the horn of Africa. Kidnappings, ransoms and lost cargo were mind boggling*.
Text—However, new terrors, horrors and natural disasters took over and we now only hear about the violence and insanity when something particularly horrible happens, or a new book is published.
The reality is that piracy in the waters leading from the Suez Canal is a paying business and has not stopped. An entire article could be penned explaining why the Somali pirates do not have fear of repercussions. Piracy is a crime that is costing all of us billions of dollars a year in the higher cost of goods because of lost time, cargo and ransoms.
Piracy is terrorism and once ransom payments are made, more fuel is added to the fire that allows the terrorism to continue unabated. An entire generation of Somalis think that piracy is a valid career choice. At Armed Piracy Defence (APD), we know that piracy can be stopped, with investments from the shipping and insurance companies that are most affected.
The pirates have become much more daring. What started as a ragtag team of untrained and ill-prepared guerrillas looking for easy money has turned into a well organised industry, resourceful group of mercenaries. There is a continuously growing group of increasingly daring, tactically savvy, violent men without any regard for human life.
They now have mother ships with satellite & Internet-based communications systems and a highly developed intelligence network that allows them to track EACH AND EVERY SHIP and cargo that passes through the Suez Canal. The pirates lie in wait for the most lucrative cargoes and vessels. They attack far out at sea with mother vessels & multiple skids using strategically planned methods to neutralise vessels as quickly as possible. They are known to use captured vessels as mother ships to attack other vessels.
The United Nations and governments around the world have placed their priorities elsewhere and are not able or willing to find a solution & funds to deal with piracy. In order to combat this issue, the entire industry must show a unified front.
To accomplish this, APD is proposing that shipowners, insurance companies and other leaders use our knowledge base, first class security teams, security protocols and financial resources to invest in a training centre to better prepare those key officers on board the targeted vessels to counter the threats posed by the pirates. There are some basic strategies that can be used to save lives. Each voyage must be well planned with an alert and equipped crew.
If the entire industry that had vessels sailing within the Red Zone agreed on a specific safety protocol and each ship and crew was prepared in the same way to counteract attacks, the pirates income would shrivel to nothing and they would not be able to fund their illegal activities.
In addition to the training centres to prepare the crews, each ship passing through the Gulf of Aden, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Mogadishu, Somalia, Monrovia (Liberia), Hanish al Kubra Island (the southern Red Sea, off the Oman coast), the Arabian Sea, Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Malacca straits, the south China Sea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, or the Singapore straits will acquire Red Zone insurance, which includes a team of armed guards that have been trained to deal with the terrorist threat.
The solution is simple. Companies would set up insurance account. An underwriting team will be available 24/7 for activation of the insurance and the deployment of teams of first class combat trained security guards, as ships are scheduled to transit within the Red Zone.
There will be up to 40 types of standard categorised insurance to choose from, to suit the needs of the individual shipowner. The larger the ship, the more guards needed, the higher the premium. With even the minimum insurance level, the shipowner will have a first class security detail to protect its crew, vessel and cargo.
APD’s armed squads are equipped with top quality army grade automatic weapons, including night vision and protective equipment. All our squads consist of combat savvy personnel and a medic; no other company in the market place can make that guarantee.
We claim to be the only company that maintains ongoing training with our combat teams, which include simulations of both night and day attacks by multiple skiffs. APD is familiar with all weapons used by pirates in this area, their strategy, mindset, their equipment and the sea & land routes of supply that are used by the mother ships and the skiffs. All of our team members originate from the same naval combat unit.
The years of working together has created a coherent combat team that work in complete synergy. We have the personnel to deploy 20 combat ready teams simultaneously, with another 15 combat teams ready to be deployed within 72 hours. As market forces increase, the number of deployable teams will increase.
APD will take the initiative to ensure that all armed security forces will have the same strategies in dealing with the pirates and that they all have combat grade weapons. We also create guidelines for essential drills to be completed by all crews 48 hours before entering the Red Zone. Also included is a list of required equipment and ammunition, ‘do’ and ‘don’t do’ list and a list of possible scenarios related to a particular vessel.
In paying ransom to the pirates, insurance companies are merely adding fuel to terrorism and are stimulating the pirates to continue their activities. The ransoms are very lucrative and are worth the risks that the pirates make. As a result of the protection we provide, insurance companies are willing to decrease the premium by 40%-50% on their maritime Ransom and Kidnap (R&K) coverage.
Piracy will be stopped only if the shipping industry creates a united front, under one guide line of a unified standardised single security protocol, which will provide an escort for each and every ship sailing in the Red Zones.
The investment needed to bring safety and security to the Red Zone is a small price to pay compared to the millions and millions of dollars that is paid in ransom each and every year. With investments dedicated to the training of key officers, the creation of a state of the art training facility and control centre for 400 teams of four people each, and the arming of our security teams with top quality weapons and equipment, the industry can supply the economic stability that is needed to carry us to the future.
*This article was written by Armed-Piracy-Defence, Inc; Skype Phone ID: Armed-Piracy-Defence; Email: ArmedPiracyDefence@gmail.com
Armed piracy Defence