Private security companies called in to combat Somali piracy - 2 Part


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HP Terra-Marine International
Sister company of US-based Hollowpoint Protection. It's licensed by the Yemen government to operate from Yemeni ports. [Update, 15 September 2009: the CE of a British maritime security company told me that HP Terra-Marine are no longer trading.]
Protection Vessels International Ltd (PVI)

A British-based firm which provides shipboard guards and an escort. It has its own escort vessel, which is crewed by former Royal Marines.
MAST (Maritime Asset Security & Training)
A British-based company which specializes in protecting super yachts. MAST works with Watkins Marine Services Ltd, a yacht managing company which is linked to Watkins, a Lloyds of London syndicate, and Pilgrims Security Ltd, which is based in the Seychelles.
Muse Pro Group

A US-based private military company. Its maritime wing (MAPS) works closely with the Yemen Navy and Coast Guard and local associate Alqusoor. Muse provides armed security parties for transits through Yemeni waters. It recruits security personnel who've served with American elite units, like US Navy SEALS, Special Forces and Delta.
Former US Special Forces soldier Charles Kunuff is the senior executive in charge of Muse's maritime operation (see here for my interview with Mr Kunuff).
Hart Group
A global PSC with its HQ in Cyprus. Its maritime division used to be called Global Marine Security Systems. Hart trained and works with the Yemen Coast Guard, and reportedly has an escort vessel stationed in Yemen. Insurance company Swinglehurst Ltd offers shipowners war risk cover (including piracy risk) on Gulf transits where the ships are protected by Hart security personnel. an Al-Jazeera interview (h/t Close Protection World) with Richard Bethell (Lord Westbury), former British SAS officer and head of Hart. In the clip, Bethell denies suggestions that Hart trained many of today's Somali pirates. Between 1999 and 2002, Hart had a contract with the government in Puntland, northern Somalia, to train men for a start-up fisheries protection agency.
REDfour MSS Ltd
The maritime wing of British company REDfour Security Group (which provides security services in Africa, the Middle East and Asia). It offers a range of services to shipowners, including onboard armed or unarmed security, depending on the flags of vessels. REDfour has signed an agreement with leading insurance broker Marsh to provide security for over 900 transits a year. Will McManus is REDfour MSS's chief executive.
ISSG Holdings Ltd
A Seychelles-based company that provides security to vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa waters. ISSG mainly hires ex-Indian navy commandos for its security staff. Michael Murrell is the company's chief executive. It has recently developed an anti-piracy training course for seafarers to be taught at the MATS College of Technology in the Philippines.
that's fine, I was really just checking to see if you were still alive! Phoned and emailed you within the last 2 weeks but have not had any response from you.
This after you contacted me re W Africa!
Ring any bells?
yes John, i remember but we did have christmas and new year to deal with and all parties needed to be on the ball regarduing this, i have a meeting in London on the 11th will know more after and be in touch
that's fine, I was really just checking to see if you were still alive! Phoned and emailed you within the last 2 weeks but have not had any response from you.
This after you contacted me re W Africa!
Ring any bells?
Good day

I am a freelance journalist, working independently, investigating Stolen Valour in the USA and around the world. Currently we have almost completed enough USA investigations for the first series of articles and are now widening the net further afield, to encompass the UK.

Mr McManus has been the subject of several allegations of improperly running a company with regards to personnel insurance and payments, allegedly falsifying his CV and allegedly exaggerating his military background.

The main issue that I will be highlighting, should the facts support the allegations is whether Mr McManus has put lives at risk by purporting to be an expert in the field of security, when in fact he may possibly have had minimal military training whatsoever. If the allegations are not proven, we will make a full disclosure and apology to Mr McManus for the inconvenience.

Several Independent sources have informed us that Mr McManus has allegedly made claims in the past, which he is unwilling or unable to verify. Claims such as having been a member of the British Parachute Regiment. Claims that he served with several Intelligence units attached to special forces. Claims that he was a commissioned officer. The list goes on.

If you have any information to support or refute these allegations we would love to hear from you. If you served in any of these units or any others with Mr McManus we'd love to hear from you too.

Thank-you for your support.

Tom Smith