Caution on Hiring W. Africa Armed Guards

Press Release
Wednesday, February 06, 2013

North P&I Club advises shipowners to be careful about employing piracy protection armed guards in west Africa.

According to the Club's new loss prevention briefing entitled West African Piracy, standard solutions and contracts for hiring armed guards on the other side of Africa, such as BIMCO's Guardcon form, may be inappropriate for the very different situation in the Gulf of Guinea, Bight of Benin and Bight of Bonny.

‘BIMCO Guardcon has been drafted specifically in response to the piracy situation in the Indian Ocean and the circumstances found in west Africa are quite different,' says the Club's Risk Management Executive Colin Gillespie. A major difference is that private armed guards are prevented by law from operating inside territorial waters of coastal states in the region, and authorities are known to enforce these regulations vigorously.

‘Local laws require that armed guards should be from the local security forces,' says Gillespie. ‘This introduces potential safety, security and political issues with the use of such guards, particularly if a vessel needs to operate in the territorial waters of more than one coastal state in the region.'

According to North, employment of local security force armed guards customarily takes place via a local agency, but the Club is aware that some agencies have been employing off-duty armed guards at less cost. This has lead to further problems, such as suspension of legitimate armed guard services by a coast state in the region.

‘Operators should therefore seek to ensure that the agency they use is employing local security forces that are on duty, and as such are an informed and legitimate part of local intelligence and military networks,' says Gillespie. ‘All shipowners should seek expert legal and technical advice before entering into a contract to engage armed guards to protect their vessels in west Africa'.

Recent figures released by the International Maritime Bureau indicated there were 58 incidents in the Gulf of Guinea last year, including 10 hijackings and 207 crew members taken hostage.  Unlike Somali pirate attacks, many of the attacks are against stationary ships and involve sophisticated criminal gangs operating across national boundaries as well as politically motivated militias.
 

 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter January 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Globus Maritime Reclassifies Board Member

Globus Maritime Limited, a dry bulk shipping company, announced today that when Georgios Karageorgiou, a Class I director of Globus Maritime Limited  resigned on December 28,

Antietam, McCampbell Build Relationships at IFR 2016

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) arrived Feb. 4 in India

COSCO Plans European Transhipment Hub

China's COSCO is forging ahead with a plan to build a European transhipment hub, reports Reuters. The state owned shipping giant is expected to make an offer for

Maritime Security

Antietam, McCampbell Build Relationships at IFR 2016

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) arrived Feb. 4 in India

Hijacked Singaporean Ship Released in Nigeria

The crew of a Singapore-registered container vessel, Safmarine Kuramo, hijacked off the Nigerian Coast earlier this week, were released unharmed on Saturday (Feb

Indian Navy Shows Off Strength

India’s naval might was on full display off the coast of Visakhapatnam today (Saturday) as President Pranab Mukherjee reviewed the naval fleet.   Mukherjee,

Insurance

Glencore to Lift Iranian Fuel Oil at Bandar Mahshahr

Anglo-Swiss commodity trader Glencore has chartered a ship to load Iranian fuel oil at the Iranian port of Bandar Mahshahr in a move that signals the return of

Norbulk Selects Parker Kittiwake’s Cat Fines Test Kit

Parker Kittiwake, a leading global supplier of asset control and protection technology, has today announced a significant order of its recently launched Cat Fines

Boxship Aground Near Port of Hamburg

A Chinese container ship that is one of the world's largest has run aground on the river Elbe near Germany's largest port Hamburg but shipping to the harbour continues as normal,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0739 sec (14 req/sec)