Thursday, February 10, 2011

Somali Pirates: Security Firms Dump Weapons to Comply with Law

There are a lot of quirks in the legal systems of the world, but some of these quirks are having an effect on armed guards plying the waters where Somali pirates operate.

The story is reported by Bradley Hope as "Firearms an odd casualty of piracy":
Thousands of guns are being dumped in the ocean by private security companies hired to protect ships against pirate attacks, top security executives say.

As Somali pirates grow bolder and launch attacks further into the Indian Ocean, shipping companies and yacht owners are increasingly using armed security to protect their vessels.

Dumpable? TheAK-47- Accurate, Tough and Cheap
But there are varying laws and regulations about taking weapons into ports across the region, leading some security companies to cut costs and save time by getting rid of their guns before arriving in various countries' territorial waters.

"This is happening on a daily basis," said Richard Skinner, the Dubai director at the security company the Orchid Group. "I suspect there are literally thousands of semi-automatic and automatic weapons down there at the bottom of the Red Sea for fish to swim around."

These practices and others have led security companies and government officials to call for increased regulation of armed teams operating on the high seas. Rogue security companies could endanger the lives of their clients and innocent fishermen by failing to follow proper rules for using force against perceived threats.
Expensive? Less than the cost of complying with the law in most cases and eliminates the risk that the ship being protected might be seized by authorities for violation of guns laws. Much less than the cost of lawyers to fight weapons charges.

Smart business practice.


  1. Anonymous11:16 AM

    This highlights the need for a standardized customs procedure for securing weapons in port.

    Issues such is this help discorage shippers from hiring armed security, and increase the cost, leaving many ships as easy prey for pirates.

  2. Wonder if some aspiring Jacques Cousteau will dive down there, snatch them all up and open a floating pawn shop?

  3. Anonymous8:10 AM

    So will Mr. Limpet start doing swim by shootings on Charley Tuna And the Undersea Crips?

  4. Anonymous5:25 AM

    If a shipping company uses a Maritime Security company that has "Black" weapons onboard the the shipping company is liable for not performing "Due diligence" before signing the contract with said MarSec company.