PLANETDATA/Maritime Security News

PlanetData - The Security News Network is a free news and information resource focused on maritime, global, corporate, cyber, homeland and aviation security, law enforcement and intelligence. PlanetData hosts timely and comprehensive content gathered from over 1,000 online sources, as well as from our editors, contributors and members. This newsletter entry carries a summary of PlanetData’s weekly maritime security roundup.

Aug 26, 2009

Panama: Construction of New Panama Canal Locks Begins

Aug 25, 2009 — Construction of the Panama Canal's new locks officially commences today (8/25), one day after the 100th anniversary of the first cement being poured for the current locks. Grupo Unidos por el Canal is planning to complete construction in just over 5 years, in time for the centennial celebration of the waterway.

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South Africa: South Africa to Begin Tracking AIS

Aug 24, 2009 — The Times of South Africa is reporting that there are two issues motivating the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) to finally begin tracking Automatic Identification System signals, nearly a year after the country was supposed to begin doing so. The first thing the SAMSA is concerned about is piracy and pirates expanding their territory south from the coast of Somalia. The second concern is security for next year's FIFA World Cup, when commercial and passenger ship traffic will greatly increase.

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DHS Calls for Fire Department Preparedness in Maritime Areas

Aug 24, 2009 — Last week the United States Fire Administration (USFA), part of DHS, released a new report titled "Fire Departments and Maritime Interface Area Preparedness".

From USFA: "This report addresses fire department preparedness for incidents in maritime areas and the importance of establishing a multiagency response capability that includes law enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), port authorities, the private sector, emergency medical services, and emergency management agencies. Stakeholders in maritime emergency preparedness include Federal, State, and local governments as well as commercial private-sector entities and labor organizations."

The report is available as a PDF download by clicking HERE

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Argentina: Port of Buenos Aires Container Traffic at Stand Still

Aug 24, 2009 — Since last Friday (8/21) a conflict between two unions at the port of Buenos Aires has "paralyzed" the cargo terminals. So far the dispute has prevented the offloading of some 2,700 containers carrying $82 million in merchandise. And things could get worse as one of the unions involved is calling for a national strike starting Tuesday (8/25).

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Philippines: Philippine Authorities Detain Ship Smuggling Guns

Aug 21, 2009 — Philippine authorities have detained a ship and her crew after 5 crates containing 50 undocumented assault rifles were found onboard. Also, discovered were 10 empty crates. The assumption is that weapons from these empty crates were offloaded before customs agents and police boarded the ship in the Port of Mariveles, Bataan. The ship is identified as the MV Captain Ufuk and her South African captain and 13 Georgian crewmembers are now facing gun smuggling charges. According to the Manila Bulletin, the Panamanian-flagged ship originated from Turkey and made a stop in Indonesia, before arriving in the Philippines. While Al Jazeera identifies the weapons as Israeli-made Galil assault rifles, the Manila Bulletin reports they are Indonesian-made Pindad SS1-V1.

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