Shipping firms are using armed guards against pirates
Thursday 02 August 2012
Shipping firms whose ships pass areas where pirates operate are using private armed guards, despite the risk of criminal prosecution, the NRC reports.
The Dutch government says arms can only be carried by military personnel and police agents. Employing private security guards is an offence.
The ministry of defence does have special teams to help combat the threat of piracy but the shipping firms say it is not a solution. They have to be ordered six weeks in advance and come with all sorts of conditions, says the paper.
'No ship sails the coast of Somalia without protection. As long as the military cannot provide this, we will do so ourselves,' Martin Dorsman from ship owners' association KVNR told the NRC.
Denmark, Spain, Norway and Britain all allow shipping firms to use private security guards when travelling close to the Somali coast.
However, when the subject was raised at the end of last year, justice minister Ivo Opstelten said ship owners could find themselves in court.