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New trade wars attract pirates and anti-pirate entrepreneurs

Another sign of overpopulation and resource competition: We publish a press release from a commercial anti-pirate operation which offers naval escort services across the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, where easy collection of oil is no longer guaranteed. "In West Africa in the area known as the Gulf of Guinea, where there is no UK, EUNAVFOR or US Naval presence (nor is there planned to be), maritime crime is escalating and is spiralling to such levels that the UN Security Council has recognised it as a specific threat to international security (Resolutions 2018 [2011] and 2039 [2012]). It is estimated that the state of Nigeria is losing $1bn of crude oil through theft every month."

Commercial Launch of Typhon Maritime Security Service

Typhon is launching its marine convoy escort service with immediate effect. This service enables ship operators to transit the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean in unprecedented safety while saving time and money. The company is now opening discussions with potential clients and negotiating long term contracts.

Piracy is spreading rapidly from its Somalian roots across the Indian Ocean as far as the Gulf of Guinea, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Maritime criminals are becoming more audacious, more violent, better equipped and more adept. With the wind-down of the EUNAFOR's naval presence in the Gulf of Aden in 2014 is likely to coincide with a major escalation in piracy in the Indian Ocean. In this theatre of operations piracy still remains a serious threat to some of the world’s busiest shipping routes. At present 147 hostages are being held by pirates in Somalia.

In West Africa in the area known as the Gulf of Guinea, where there is no UK, EUNAVFOR or US Naval presence (nor is there planned to be), maritime crime is escalating and is spiralling to such levels that the UN Security Council has recognised it as a specific threat to international security (Resolutions 2018 [2011] and 2039 [2012]). It is estimated that the state of Nigeria is losing $1bn of crude oil through theft every month.

To date the only effective commercially available counter-measure has been provided by ride-on guards otherwise known as VPDs (Vessel Protection Detachments or Details). This protection model provides a quantity of armed personnel to live aboard the client ship for the duration of the transit. However the client vessels have to detour for their embarkation and disembarkation often at significant cost. The range of protection from pirates is narrow: 400m from the ‘target’ ship.

Typhon’s Integrated Protection Model starts by detecting any threats of piracy at long range – this is done onshore in Typhon's Operations Centre in the UAE. It enables Typhon to conduct their transit safely through the network of pirate action groups – and advising clients of necessary course adjustments to avoid known trouble hot spots.

The safety of convoying through dangerous waters has been established for hundreds of years but Typhon will be the first company for over two hundred years to privately offer a naval-grade service to the commercial market.

With Typhon’s service, close protection vessels (CPVs) shadow client vessels using its ‘umbrella concept’, which consists of surveillance and, detection and early warning capabilities to identify and assess any likely or suspected threats. Through early detection, Typhon will be able to deter a pirate threat before it becomes a danger.

The convoys travel in a protected 'envelope' which make it extremely difficult for the pirates to enter the 'Protection Zone' to launch an attack. Typhon's policy is always to seek to diffuse and de-escalate any violence.

Typhon’s detection solution consists of a multi-layered service that detects piracy in three ways – by sea (using radar), by air (using satellite) and by land (through an onshore operations centre). In conjunction with the CPV, Typhon’s detection of potential threats will inform the decision to use armoured patrol boats to intercept a potential target, engage direct fire weapons or mount a key defence of the client vessel. The use of force is a last resort and is always reasonable and proportionate using the minimum amount of force necessary.

Anthony Sharp, CEO of Typhon, said, “Typhon was created in order address the specific threat from pirates in a number of key geographies. The area we will protect are too vast for current naval resources to monitor effectively and this will be an even bigger issue when Operation Atlanta comes to an end.

“Our mantra is to combat the problem of maritime crime and piracy using methods that are both effective and proportionate to the threat. With millions paid out in ransoms to pirates and much more money lost by businesses in fuel costs avoiding pirates, it is important that businesses are granted a safer passage with their cargo through dangerous waters. The benefits to business will be substantial.”

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