Monthly Archives: January 2015

Yemen chaos spreads towards Red Sea chokepoint

Stephen Spark

Oil-exporting countries of the Arabian Gulf are watching anxiously as the security situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate in the wake of US-backed President Hadi’s resignation on Thursday. Continue reading

Coastguard training essential to tackle piracy in SE Asia

Singapore: Effective training and mentoring for coastguards in southeast Asia is essential in order to have control over territorial waters and economic zones, maritime security company Maritime Asset Security & Training (MAST) says. Continue reading

Sri Lanka Floating Armoury story rumbles on…

Shocking revelations of deep security state within the State

Defence Ministry-sponsored private army links up with private maritime company supplying arms
Huge armouries of private firms kept in Galle Navy camp and at BMICH; potential threat to C’wealth leaders and Pope

President calls for explanation from new Defence Secretary for trying to defend predecessors actions

Revelations of corruption, abuse of power and a multitude of other illegal acts under the reign of the previous UPFA Government are unfolding day by day. Continue reading

JTF talks tough on kidnappers, pirates

Akam James, Yenagoa

Apparently disturbed by the spate of criminal activities in the Niger-Delta region, authorities of the Joint Military Task Force, code named Operation Pulo Shield Thursday warned suspected kidnappers, Sea pirates and criminals along the waterways of the region to desist from crime and take up gainful employment in the region.

The JTF Commander, Major General Emmanuel Atewe, who gave the warnings during a call on him by the new Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Mobility Command of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Frank Nyoyoko, said though it still baffles the command the reason healthy youths would resort to crime instead of gainful employment, while urging all the youths involved in criminal activities to have a rethink or have themselves to blame.

Atewe called on stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to join hands to fight against criminalities, “the JTF is committed to zero tolerance campaign against oil theft and illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta. We are committed towards total eradication of oil related crimes”.

Atewe said the JTF has so far intercepted and arrested several illegal oil bunkering vessels and suspects and handed them over to Prosecuting Agencies for prosecution.

To read the entire article, please click here.

Source: http://dailytimes.com.ng

Maritime Security News Note:
Actions speak louder than words. Warnings like this are commonplace from the Nigerian Navy and the Joint Task Force, yet maritime crime and piracy and the kidnapping of crew continues. It would be very interesting to know whom the “prosecuting agencies” mentioned in the article are, too. Perhaps a series of high profile public trials of oil thieves and pirates might do more to dissuade youths from joining their ranks…

Two UK businessmen arrested on suspicion of involvement in sale of warships to Nigerian security company

Two UK businessmen arrested on suspicion of involvement in sale of warships to Nigerian security company

In December last year, the Norwegian press revealed that six decommissioned naval Hauk-class guided missile boats had been sold to a private security company in Nigeria. The articles alleged that the ships had been sold to Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, a former MEND commander and the alleged owner of Global West Vessel Specialists Ltd., a security firm contracted by NIMASA in Nigeria to protect the nation’s waterways.

The contract between NIMASA and GWVS itself has been subject to significant scrutiny in the Nigerian media due to its value.

Yesterday, City of London police arrested two businessmen as part of a joint investigation with Norwegian authorities into how the ships ended up being sold to Tompolo. Last year, both Tompolo and NIMASA were quick to state that the ships were actually under the control of the Nigerian Navy and not a private company.

In a press statement, the City of London’s Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit (OACU) said:

The City of London Police’s Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit (OACU) have today arrested two men on suspicion of bribing a foreign public official to assist them in purchasing six ex-naval vessels.

Detectives from the unit arrested a man in his early 40s at his home in Alfreton, Derbyshire and a man in his late 50s at his home in East Molesey, Surrey in a joint investigation with the Norwegian Authorities.

The two men are believed to be involved in a business that specialises in International Risk management for the maritime industry, with offices around the world including in the UK and Africa. They are alleged to have paid a Norwegian public official two direct payments into his personal bank account totalling more than $150,000 to help secure the sale of six decommissioned ex-naval vessels.

A third man was also arrested by the Norwegian Authorities in TØnsberg, Norway this morning.

The two residential addresses, along with a business address in Surrey, were searched and computer equipment and documentation were seized. The two men were taken to local police stations for questioning and the investigation is ongoing.

DCI Danny Medlycott, Head of OACU said, “Today’s operation is a great example of how OACU works closely with our law enforcement partners across the world to combat bribery and corruption.”

The Independent newspaper reports that the payments were made in two separate transactions, directly in to the Norwegian official’s bank account. The money, it is alleged, was to help secure the sale of the decommissioned vessels.

According to The Independent:

The UK police have not named the company involved, stating only that it was involved in “international risk management for the maritime industry.” However authorities in Norway say the arrested men are connected to a UK firm called CAS Global, which is headquartered in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. The firm describes itself as specialising in “maritime services”.

Nigerian press reports suggest that CAS Global also has offices in Lagos in Nigeria, Tema in Ghana and in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

While there has been no comment so far from NIMASA or the Nigerian government, the news will come as an embarrassment so close to the country’s elections.

Piracy Violence Continues Against Seafarers

Posted by Eric Haun

The MPHRP highlights the hardship inflicted upon seafarers and families.

Responding to recent reports on current levels of international maritime piracy, the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Program (MPHRP) noted the trend that they appear to avoid the word “piracy” in favor of new forms of criminality, specifically “attacks” and “hijacking”. The technical differences denoted by these terms aside, MPHRP said a basic truth is veiled: that violent crime is committed against seafarers. Continue reading

Ghana’s territorial waters are safe – Interior Ministry

The Ministry of Interior has sought to downplay any reports that Ghana’s territorial waters have become porous as a result of the arrest of 8 suspected Nigerian pirates. Continue reading