I hate to interupt a good arguement, and indeed the vikings were pirates I'm sure, but is there a certain degree of thread drift here (of which I'm guilty to a degree as well)...
'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
"We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
Illegitimi non carborundum
It seems that the piracy virus is rampant;
Togo added to piracy risk areas list: Lloyd's Maritime Association
London (Platts)--14 Jun 2013 630 am EDT/1030 GMT
Togo has been added to the Joint War Committee's listed areas where additional war risk premiums are charged by London underwriters, according to a bulletin published by the Lloyd's Maritime Association this week.
The Joint War Committee has added Togo to the "Hull War, Piracy, Terrorism and Related Perils" list, which includes Nigeria, Benin and parts of the Gulf of Guinea, in response to attacks on ships and a growing piracy threat in the region.
This follows news last week from the International Maritime Organization that West African heads of state will meet at the end of June to adopt a code to fight growing piracy in their coastal waters that would include the use of arrests, prosecutions and seizures of ships.
According to data from the International Maritime Bureau published earlier in the year, there has been a growing trend for piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea including in the Togo area.
On May 5 the IMB reported a product tanker had been fired upon by pirates while located 27 nautical miles south-southeast of Lome, Togo. The ship was undertaking ship-to-ship transfer of oil products when pirates were seen attempting to board the ship. The Togo Navy exchanged fire with the pirates and the boarding of the vessel was unsuccessful. All crew were reported safe. On May 17 there were other attempts to board a chemical tanker off Lome, which were also unsuccessful.
Historically Gulf of Guinea pirates would hijack ships, kidnap the crew while they siphoned off the cargo to the black market and then release the crew and ship. However, attacks are becoming increasingly violent and fatal, various piracy statistics show.
The Joint War Committee comprises underwriting representatives from the International Underwriting Association and Lloyd's markets, representing the interests of those who write marine hull war business in the London market.
--Angela Velasco, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Jonathan Fox, email@example.com
Not all plain sailing for the gun dealers arming the merchant ships against pirates.
Floating Armory Caught In Scandal
By MarEx 2015-11-05 16:56:58
Sri Lankan security firm Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS) has become embroiled in scandal as two of its floating armory vessels remain under arrest.
The armory vessel Avant Garde was arrested in the port of Galle in October. AGMS officials say they received permission from the Ministry of Defence for the vessel to enter the port, but upon arrival, Sri Lankan Navy officials boarded the ship and placed it under government control. The company described the Navy's actions as a “downright betrayal.”
Sri Lankan authorities found 816 T56 (an AK-47 variant) and 84 S type firearms on board the ship, along with about 200,000 rounds of ammunition. The vessel was allegedly licensed to carry no more than 100 arms. Additionally, reports indicate that at least 59 of the guns found had no legible serial numbers. According to statements of crew aboard the Avant Garde, the weapons were intended for transfer to the commercial security firm Rakna Lanka Limited.
On November 5, Rakna Lanka's representatives, along with several senior defense officals, were called to testify before a presidential commission on fraud. The commission is examining the firm's finances and arms transactions.
Opposition members of parliament claim that the current government is doing too little in its investigation in order to shield AGMS and others from corruption charges.
The arms transfer appears to confirm industry observers' concerns that arms stored aboard floating armories could be sold off under murky circumstances. As piracy is declining in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, demand for maritime security services is on the wane, and it is expected that many security companies’ assets will be liquidated.
The Avant Garde is not the only AGMS vessel under investigation. The armory ship Mahanuwara was boarded by Sri Lankan police early in 2015; they found 3000 unregistered firearms aboard. A court ruling on October 22 paved the way for a full investigation of the Mahanuwara to begin.
Prior to arrival in Galle, the Avant Garde was stationed in the Red Sea. It is one of three armory vessels owned by AGMS.
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