Insurers call for armed security guards on Dutch ships

Dutch ships sailing the coast of East and West Africa and at risk of piracy should be allowed to employ armed private security guards, the umbrella organisations of insurers and ship owners argue.

Last year the number of cases of piracy in the area doubled, with 800 crew members being taken hostage, reports NRC.
The government does not allow ship owners to hire armed guards but it does provide soldiers as protection. However, the two organisations say there are not enough of them to protect all the ships sailing in the area.
Other countries, such as Cyprus and Malta, do allow their ships to employ armed guards and the organisations say this will lead to Dutch ships choosing to sail under foreign flags. This would be detrimental to the government as ship owners would pay their tax to the country under whose flag they sail.
Piracy costs insurers and ship owners a great deal of money in ransom money, repairs to ships and damaged goods. In the past two years, the global insurance sector paid out €300m in claims as a result of piracy, says the paper.

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