Pirates, Spooks and Mercenaries

Starting in around 2000 and the collapse of the government in Mogasishu following the second Somali civil war, the coastal protection work in Somalia ceased. It did not take long before internation fishing fleets moved in to harvest the risch waters around the costal plain. Fishing villages, who relied on the sea for survival responded for forming piracy groups to hijack commercial vessels.

It did not take long before this flourished in to full trade model. Pirates hijacked a vessel, captured the crew and had them moor off the Somalian coast. Ship owners, charterers and the cargo owners were then left to pay a heft ransom to gain the vessel release. This became known as Kidnap and Ransom (K&R).
The international shipping groups responded by putting armed guards on the vessels, with varying degrees of success. Other vessel owners used commercial and military style intelligence in an attempt to discover the most likely locations for the Piracy Action Groups (PAG) and route vessels away from them.

In the same time frame, piracy was also taking place in the South China Sea and in the Bight of Benin. Here the goal was initially petty theft, but this later became more concerned with theft of cargo.

Adrian was involved in working with security teams, insurance companies, vessel owners and a cargo shippers. He was involved with a hijack of an oil tanker, advising the negotiator on changes to the location. He used some non-standard methods to track vessels inspite of attempts by the pirates to prevent such action. He has worked with security teams and has knowledge of the positive and negative aspects of having guns on board vessels.


This talk is designed to be interactive, with questions from the audience that can take the discussion in different directions. It is backed by several years of  personal experience fighting piracy and using high technology to protect vessels.