Floating Armouries Pirate Risk

Private security companies increasingly rely on unregulated ‘floating armouries’ to avoid arms smuggling laws, but could these stores be vulnerable to pirate attack themselves?

Piracy fears over ships laden with weapons in international waters

Private security companies rely on unregulated ‘floating armouries’ in Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean

Private security companies guarding ships against Somali pirates are increasingly storing their weapons on so-called “floating armouries” in international waters, to avoid arms smuggling laws when they dock in ports.

About 20 ships stocked with assault rifles and other small arms as well as ammunition, body armour and night vision goggles are scattered around the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, the EU naval force has confirmed.

The legal status of these armouries is unclear, and industry experts are concerned that the absence of regulation leaves the armouries vulnerable to attack from the pirates they are intended to guard against.

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Source: The Guardian, written by Oscar Rickett.

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