Owners, insurers, say Dutch ships at risk in piracy waters ought to be allowed to employ armed private security guards
Last year the number of cases of piracy off the coasts of East and West Africa doubled, with 800 crew members being taken hostage, NRC.informs 'Dutch News'.
The Netherlands' government does not allow ship owners to hire armed guards but it does provide soldiers as protection. However, the two organisations say there are not enough of them to protect all the ships sailing in the area.
Other countries, such as Cyprus and Malta, do allow their ships to employ armed guards and the organisations say this will lead to Dutch ships choosing to sail under foreign flags which would be detrimental to the government as ship owners pay their tax to the country under whose flag they sail.
Piracy costs insurers and ship owners a great deal, in ransom money, repairs to ships and damaged goods. In the past two years, the global insurance sector paid out €300m in claims as a result of piracy, says the NRC.