Russian threat to local security market effectively neutralized by Nigerian authorities
Nations of Gulf of Guinea created an ideal business scheme, in which they provide the problem and the solution, with the authorities to
Private security vessel Myre Seadiver, arrested on Lagos road on October 23, remains under arrest in Lagos. Nine crew members, mostly Russians, were arrested. Navy command said they found on board of the vessel assorted 14 AK 47 rifles with 3,643 ammunition; 22 barrel rifles, with 4,955 ammunition and Benelli MR1 rifle. Maritime Bulletin was informed by one private security company, that the AK 47 rifles were not properly declared, so formally the Nigerian authorities (namely, Navy) were justified. But the story goes deeper than that, vessel is kept under arrest for nearly two months, more than enough time to assess the scale of the accident, punish the company and free the vessel. Actually, it’s not the question of undeclared AKs, it’s much more serious problem of security market rivalry. Myre Seadiver was meant to provide security services to the shipping in piracy-infested waters of Gulf of Guinea, particularly to the Sovcomflot tankers.
Local security agencies are fiercely defending their pastures against foreign rivals. So what, one may ask, if locals can provide efficient security to anyone willing to hire them, does it matter who are they, locals or Westerners?
Yes, it does matter. Locals can’t be trusted as much as Western security. There is one good example of how much trust should one have in local private security. AHS Bourbon Liberty 249 was stormed and all save Nigerians crew kidnapped on Oct 15, vessel was protected by a boat with local security on board. Boat left the vessel for some unexplained reason, presumably to return in several hours. Immediately after security left the vessel, she was attacked by pirates. They’ve been either constantly monitoring Bourbon Liberty 249, or, most probably, were tipped off by someone either among Nigerian crew or security itself.
Nations of Gulf of Guinea created an ideal business scheme, in which they provide the problem and the solution, with the authorities to cover them up and fight off foreign rivals.
Maybe, Safe Our Seafarers body will start a new campaign and collect some 30,000 signatures more, protesting the GoG piracy? Then what? Applaud themselves once again and reward each other with prizes and commendations, happy smiles all around?
There is only one sensible and logical solution to the piracy problem either in GoG or anywhere else, in form of International Security Convention allowing arms and private security on board. But who’s to initiate it? Definitely not Safe Our Seafarers, or ILO, or IMO or any other international maritime body. The global piracy may stay at present level with little to worry about for the world economy, and as a result, with no effective counter measures taken. Or it may develop into a problem big enough to annoy world economy, and if/when it happens, then there is a chance that Security Convention will be initiated and accepted.
Maritime Bulletin http://www.odin.tc/news/read.asp?articleID=1629