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Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Security firms make a killing in piracy fight

Marines arrest suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden. Photo/FILE
Marines arrest suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden. Photo/FILE

By BOZO JENJE

  • Escorting ships is a lucrative venture to the private firms since they charge between $5,000 (Sh400,000) and $20,000 (Sh1.6 million) per soldier
Security companies are making a killing by escorting ships in the piracy-prone Somali waters of the Indian Ocean.
Their involvement in anti-piracy efforts has reduced global naval counter-piracy deployments.
Some of the companies’ boats are equipped with drones and helicopters to counter the sea bandits.
The report Pirates and Privateers: Managing the Indian Ocean’s Private Security Boom, released recently, sheds light on the involvement of the security companies in fighting the sea crime.
The report cites military fellow at the Lowy Institute James Brown saying that there is a legitimate role for private companies in fighting piracy, adding that almost half of the ships travelling on the Indian Ocean are employing them.
Seafarers Union of Kenya secretary Andrew Mwangura said there was an increase of more than 200 private military security boats in the Indian Ocean fighting piracy.
“With the presence of these private military boats, piracy is on the decline,” he said.
Mr Mwangura said escorting ships was a lucrative venture to the private firms since they charged between $5,000 (Sh400,000) and $20,000 (Sh1.6 million) per soldier.
“For a fishing boat to be escorted, at least four to five soldiers are hired on board to escort the ship to its destination. This is a goldmine to the firms,” he said.
Source: Daily Nation, Nairobi, Kenya.

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