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View Full Version : Anti-pirate security contractors arrested for violating African gun laws


CCWFacts
09-30-2011, 11:33 AM
Source (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/sea-mercs-gun-laws/)

As it turns out, the ship-protection biz is rife with risk, of the diplomatic and AK-47-wielding variety. Carrying guns aboard commercial ships has the potential to cause all kinds of legal problems.

British sea-merc company Protection Vessels International found this out the hard way in December, when four of its guards stopped for fuel in Eritrea while sailing to a scheduled ship-protection gig off Somalia. Eritrean officials detained all four men and accused them of plotting “acts of terrorism and sabotage” against the impoverished nation.

They are lucky they stopped for fuel in Eritrea, instead of the US, because if they stopped in the US they would be in Federal prison for nearly a decade and there would be nothing their employer could do about it.

I wonder how they even possess these weapons for training or storage in the UK, or if they store them in some other country.

Brianguy
09-30-2011, 11:41 AM
I guess they didn't offer a big enough bribe:D

timdps
09-30-2011, 11:48 AM
African guns laws... :rofl2:

CCWFacts
09-30-2011, 11:53 AM
African guns laws... :rofl2:

African gun laws are not so funny... they are super-strict and harsh, usually an outright ban on everything except hunting arms, and those after a lengthy licensing process available only to foreign tourists going on a licensed hunt ($100k cost for this). That includes in places like Somalia and Nigeria where there are armed people all over the place, where no one who is above poverty can live without armed defense. The law exists so that it can be enforced selectively. They also have may-issue permit systems for just about everything, ie, you can carry a Glock 18 if you can get the right permit. Of course getting the permit is a question of what's the market value and how much can you afford to pay.

brando
09-30-2011, 12:04 PM
There are also lots of arms restrictions due to UN peace deals during many of the conflicts in Africa. In many cases, having any kind of firearm within the regional waters of some coastal countries is a violational of international law.

turbomkt
09-30-2011, 12:48 PM
1. There is nothing safe about going into Eritrea. You do not know what they will do with you. Period.

2. Any maritime security outfit should have an agreement in advance when they plan to come within any country's territorial waters, let alone pull in for fuel.

Untamed1972
09-30-2011, 12:51 PM
1. There is nothing safe about going into Eritrea. You do not know what they will do with you. Period.

2. Any maritime security outfit should have an agreement in advance when they plan to come within any country's territorial waters, let alone pull in for fuel.


Sounds like they need to start arranging for off-shore fueling perhaps

mag360
09-30-2011, 1:10 PM
what a bummer. All Eritrea is looking for is a pay off. Damn shame.

Overbear
09-30-2011, 1:17 PM
How hard is it to lock them up before you get into port?

Hell back in the navy, we use to go into the sea of japan with nukes on board (aganst international laws). They were transfered to a bulkhead, door welded shut, armed marines put infront of said door. Standard answer to "what is behind that door" and 'official' asked was "this area is off limits due to a danger to crew and personel, please move along"

CCWFacts
09-30-2011, 1:35 PM
2. Any maritime security outfit should have an agreement in advance when they plan to come within any country's territorial waters, let alone pull in for fuel.

Yeah that's NUTS to try to pull into port with guns anywhere in Africa without stamped documents in advance.

Same in Mexico. Tourists occasionally get busted for having a round of ammo forgotten somewhere.

SAME IN THE USA. If you pull into a harbor here with NFA-type weapons, it's Club Fed! And unlike in Eritrea, there's no way to pay your way out of Club Fed. Even if foreigners pull in here with normal weapons and no import permits arranged in advance, it's a big legal problem.

what a bummer. All Eritrea is looking for is a pay off. Damn shame.

Wrong! They would have been in much worse situation had they pulled that stunt here in the US, or in their native Britain.

How hard is it to lock them up before you get into port?

Irrelevant. "My machine gun is in a locked container!" doesn't change anything.

Python2
09-30-2011, 1:42 PM
.... and those after a lengthy licensing process available only to foreign tourists going on a licensed hunt ($100k cost for this). ...... They also have may-issue permit systems for just about everything, ie, you can carry a Glock 18 if you can get the right permit. Of course getting the permit is a question of what's the market value and how much can you afford to pay.

Hmnnn......very interesting information, but dont know which part of Africa you are speaking. I dont know but it sure cost me a lot less than what you quoted. Also. no big deal and no cost involved about permits for my three firearms upon landing, one of which was a Colt Detective Special I carried around town for protection from Zombies :). One very important thing I was warned though, "Dont loose your firearm or you'll be in deep sh...t". 2006 is the year if that help.

yellowfin
09-30-2011, 3:28 PM
Obviously this is done with the intent of keeping things easy for the pirates. If the British government weren't such worthless p*****s they'd help out these guys and do like they would in the old days threaten to burn the whole place down if they did it again.

SanPedroShooter
09-30-2011, 4:06 PM
How hard is it to lock them up before you get into port?

Hell back in the navy, we use to go into the sea of japan with nukes on board (aganst international laws). They were transfered to a bulkhead, door welded shut, armed marines put infront of said door. Standard answer to "what is behind that door" and 'official' asked was "this area is off limits due to a danger to crew and personel, please move along"

Did they really weld the door shut? Was it a watertight type door with dogs and stuff? How did they get it back open, cut through the welds? Did the have to replace the door afterwards?

I am genuinely interested (but not enough to send a PM, obviously...) Sorry for the thread jack.

Fjold
09-30-2011, 4:16 PM
African gun laws are not so funny... they are super-strict and harsh, usually an outright ban on everything except hunting arms, and those after a lengthy licensing process available only to foreign tourists going on a licensed hunt ($100k cost for this). That includes in places like Somalia and Nigeria where there are armed people all over the place, where no one who is above poverty can live without armed defense. The law exists so that it can be enforced selectively. They also have may-issue permit systems for just about everything, ie, you can carry a Glock 18 if you can get the right permit. Of course getting the permit is a question of what's the market value and how much can you afford to pay.

In the countries that allow sport hunting like Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, et al. it's easier to get guns in than the US. Licensed hunts in those countries are nowhere near $100K. You can get 5 days hunts for as cheap as $2-3K.

IllTemperedCur
09-30-2011, 4:25 PM
Eritrea is a one-party dictatorship that has ties to all kinds of nefarious terrorist organizations. Not the first place I'd want to stop for fuel, not by a long shot.

Wouldn't surprise me if the Eritreans were actually sponsoring pirates in Somalia. The Eritreans have long been involved in funding/supplying Islamist groups in Somalia, it's not a stretch to see them as being involved in the piracy as well. They're possibly just "protecting their investment", so to speak.

creekside
09-30-2011, 5:22 PM
How hard is it to lock them up before you get into port?

Hell back in the navy, we use to go into the sea of japan with nukes on board (aganst international laws). They were transfered to a bulkhead, door welded shut, armed marines put infront of said door. Standard answer to "what is behind that door" and 'official' asked was "this area is off limits due to a danger to crew and personel, please move along"

The US has stated officially that ships with nuclear weapons aboard have never docked in Japan.

This is true.

Nuclear weapons component sets are not nuclear weapons.

creekside
09-30-2011, 5:23 PM
Yeah that's NUTS to try to pull into port with guns anywhere in Africa without stamped documents in advance.

Same in Mexico. Tourists occasionally get busted for having a round of ammo forgotten somewhere.

SAME IN THE USA. If you pull into a harbor here with NFA-type weapons, it's Club Fed! And unlike in Eritrea, there's no way to pay your way out of Club Fed. Even if foreigners pull in here with normal weapons and no import permits arranged in advance, it's a big legal problem.



Wrong! They would have been in much worse situation had they pulled that stunt here in the US, or in their native Britain.



Irrelevant. "My machine gun is in a locked container!" doesn't change anything.

There has been some discussion of maintaining "gun storage ships" doing Lloyds Loopers in international waters on either side of contested areas. Stop by, rent your crew appropriate firearms, transit the danger zone, return your loans on the other side before entering a port.

Cali-Shooter
09-30-2011, 5:38 PM
African Gun Laws. All I have to say is this:

Double standard much?