Private security companies called in to combat Somali piracy


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Private security companies called in to combat Somali piracy

With the surge in Somali piracy over the last 18 months or so, private security companies (PSCs) have been busy providing ship owners with security for vessel transits through the Gulf of Aden. As well as protecting vessels and crews against attacks, such arrangements help lower the cost of marine insurance premiums that are underwritten by Lloyds of London syndicates.

The PSCs are mostly British-based, although American firms are also getting in on the action. They have close links to the shipping industry and insurance companies. The list of companies that claim to be operating off the Horn of Africa is lengthy, but the following firms stand out.

  • GEO & Shield Consulting: a London-based firm which works with the Yemen Coast Guard (in partnership with Lotus Projects, a Yemen company) to provide onboard security teams and escort vessels during passages through Yemeni waters. Gulf of Aden Group Transits (GoAGT): an industry-funded organization which claims to be not-for-profit. Like GEO/Shield, it works with the Yemen Coast Guard and Lotus to provide ships with guards and vessel escorts on Gulf transits. Drum-Cussac: a British-based firm which deploys security teams that use non-lethal force to repel pirates. It works with Dryad Maritime Intelligence Service, a specialist intelligence provider to the shipping and marine insurance industries. 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 private 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: 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: although Ukraine-based, this seems to be an American company. It works with the Yemen Navy and Coast Guard and local associate Alqusoor, and has two "bases" in Yemen, one at "each end" of the Gulf of Aden. Hart Group: a global PSC with its HQ in London. Hart trained and works with the Yemen Coast Guard. Hart's maritime division used to be called Global Marine Security Systems. Insurance company Swinglehurst Ltd offers shipowners war risk cover (including piracy risk) on Gulf transits where the ships are protected by Hart security personnel. REDfour MSS Ltd: the maritime wing of British company REDfour Security Group (which provides security services in Africa, the Middle East and Asia). Offers a range of services to shipowners, including onboard armed or unarmed security, depending on the flags of vessels. ISSG Holdings Ltd: a Seychelles-based company that provides security to different types of vessels and transits in the Gulf of Aden. ISSG mainly hires ex-Indian navy commandos for its security staff
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Antonbei, thanks for the post.

The word is " Claim " - the companies CLAIM they are operating in the area.
Very few companies are in reality conducting any real - " Bodies onboard " operations.
A shipping company contacted company X and asked for advice on how to prepare their crew against piracy. Company X replied to the shipping company, now they are involved in anti-piracy operations in GOA:rolleyes:

Of course the company X is busy advertising " Vacancies " in anti-piracy Ops in GOA, after you have taken and paid for their SSO course;):rolleyes:

In reality, company X will have as fat chance of getting any contracts in the area as Mickey Mouse winning the heavy weight title in UFC!:D
Hi Kurt

Yes what you comment is 100 % true .... too many companies saing they are with Anti Piracy missions ,,, but is not true ... just 4 your 5 they have the contract's the rest ... is just bollock ...They are just fishing .... in the sand .
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the names that i can definitely say that i know of operating in the GoA from the list provided are Drum Cussac, Hart and MAST.
I remember back in -94, I sailed the Malacca Strait weekly for 4 yrs.

Same time some companies advertised about their anti-piracy Ops in the area. " We are leading provider of..... ", " We are World leader in conducting.... ". " Our former Naval SpecOps personnel.... ".

Not a single time did we spot any of these Jokers on the radar or deck watch! They must be good!

For you new in the Maritime Security, Malacca Strait was the former GOA of pirates.

As a side note, I have never performed any anti-piracy work un-armed, and I am too old to start now ( carried cuffs, ASP and OC. Long & short weapons in bridge safe ).
Nice post Kurt

Some companies are doing ( Anti Piracy ) Task without armed personnel .... Good joke and more money to offer to the pirates. As you said i'm too old to do un-armed Anti Piracy .
Guys be carefull with ISSG if you're applying to them.This is just a part of company called K&M Consulting,former name was Kneeland Consulting and the position in the firm was something called SEA MARSHALS.They don't have any SEALS as employees,they are on DC court cause they didn't provide security for Tyco from Kenya to Oman and they owned money to the people they hired.Salary should be 4000$ for one month deployment and they payed only 1800$.They got 1 020000$ in advance for doing nothing!!
Thankyou for your link Saward I have that one already, I was looking for a little more info than the website.

All the best
Fidelis, i was the team leader on the Tyco waiting for that escort vessel and i waited 5 weeks, enjoyed myself in Mombasa though.
Fidelis, i was the team leader on the Tyco waiting for that escort vessel and i waited 5 weeks, enjoyed myself in Mombasa though.

Trueblue, I would surely be interested on some gigs there. I miss the bars!:D
All Beers in Mombasa would be on me, of course.:D

Shoot me a PM if anything available.

At the moment I am lucky, I will get a roster a month in advance and pick the shifts I like.

Take care,

***removed comment as legal action threatened by RED FOUR company****
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Interesting article.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

<DIV id=entry-6a00d8341c2f0553ef0120a5bbbb05970c class="entry-category-africa entry-category-mercenaries entry-category-middle_east entry-category-pirates entry-category-somalia entry-category-trade entry-category-transport entry-author-peter entry-type-post entry">Fighting piracy: private security companies in the Gulf of Aden

<DIV class=entry-content><DIV class=entry-body>Note: I'm researching companies that provide ship owners and marine insurers with security, crisis management and legal services to help them deal with the Somali piracy threat.

On Thursday I wrote about private security companies (PSCs) doing anti-piracy work off the Horn of Africa. What services do these companies provide to ship owners?
  • Shipboard security: small teams, usually three to six people, deploy to vessels for the duration of transits. Some board and disembark from Yemen ports. Others work longer transits, from Suez, Mombasa, Dar-es-Salaam, Durban, the UAE and Galle, Sri Lanka. This gives teams more time to get familiar with the ship, its crew and routines, and work out how to secure it. GoAGT charges US$35,000 for a transit through Yemen waters.
  • Escorts through high risk waters: PVI has its own escort vessel. MAST advertises that it can charter ex-military patrol craft to escort super yachts. GEO/Shield, GoAGT and Muse utilize Yemen navy or coastguard vessels. GoAGT advertises that "a heavily armoured 37.5m Austral patrol boat" will accompany a ship (cost: US $45-55K). On the other hand, ISSG does not provide escorts: a company executive told me that "we feel that the only way to properly defend a vessel is from the vessel itself".
  • Information and advice: companies provide ship owners and masters with voyage risk assessments and intelligence updates, advice on route planning and onboard security, crew training, and 24 hour monitoring during transits. Drum Cussac, for instance, will monitor a ship's progress and advise the master on changing threat levels. Muse utilize the services of an anti-piracy centre run by the Yemen government.
Security teams primarily seek to detect and deter pirates. "A properly and visibly secured vessel will likely be passed on by the pirates," a Gulf of Aden contractor told me. "They prefer a ship they can take quickly, without too much trouble". With approximately 200 ships transiting the Gulf of Aden daily, the pirates have many ships to choose from.

Slight problem so include link.

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I have been contact by the CEO from Lotus and , they ask my advise for a situation .
The Lotus Project just contract arabic people and people from Yemen ...

Stay safe ...