Private Armed Security in the Gulf of Guinea

Port 2 Port Maritime warns of the dangers of using unlicensed private security in the Gulf of Guinea.

By MarEx 2013-04-29 12:17:00

At a Counter Piracy Conference in Hamburg, Port 2 Port Maritime warned Ship owners operating in the Gulf of Guinea of the dangers of using unlicensed private security companies to deter maritime crime and piracy.

Martin Broughton, the Senior Operations Manager for Port 2 Port Maritime said, “With the decrease in piracy activity on the East Coast of Africa and the Arabian Sea, the focus of attention has turned to the increasingly volatile West Coast of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) region. In 2012 the GoG witnessed its worst year for acts of piracy and maritime criminal activity, and if the current rate of incidents continue, 2013 will surpass all previous years.”

He continued, “The rise in maritime crime has resulted in a vast number of Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC's) trying to ply their trade in this area without fully understanding the regulatory requirements and nuances of operating in such a diverse area. Shipping Companies and Charterers alike need to be aware of the pitfalls when using the services of PMSC’s that are not fully licensed, which could ultimately lead to them being unable to operate and deliver their services.”

For example, Port 2 Port Maritime has witnessed numerous cases of unlicensed and unregulated “off duty” Nigerian Armed Forces being used for protection services within Nigerian waters; something that would annul any indemnity they have in place for the GoG region.

Andrew Varney, the Managing Director of Port 2 Port also stated, “For the past year, Port 2 Port Maritime has been fully compliant and licensed in delivering Maritime Security Services in this challenging region. Port 2 Port Maritime has the authority and requisite licenses to embark and disembark personnel and equipment at Cape Verde and Namibia allowing for North/South and South/North armed transits of West Africa. Port 2 Port Maritime provides highly experienced Maritime Security Officers, complimented by Indigenous Armed Forces.”

He continued, "Port 2 Port Maritime have recently operated in the waters off Sierra leone, Liberia, Cote D'Ivoiore, Ghana, Togo, benin and various ports in Nigeria to the South of the country. This, coupled with the support pf Port 2 Port Maritime Intelligence Services, make Port 2 Port Maritime the providers of choice for Shipping Companies and Charterers to provide all their security solutions. Port 2 Port Maritime continues to re-define maritime security in an ever changing and highly volatile environment."

Furthermore, Port 2 Port Maritime has a registered regional office in Ghana and is one of two Private Maritime Security Companies undergoing the Pilot Assessment for ISO 28007, with which it has just successfully completed Stage 1 of the process. Port 2 Port Maritime’s provision of services in the Gulf of Guinea combined with the assurance of a thorough audited risk management contained within the ISO process, reinforces its commitment to a quality product that is flexible, responsive and totally reliable.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.