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Floating armouries around the Indian Ocean and entrance to the Red Sea have abounded in recent years in response to the piracy epidemic. As armed guards on cargo vessels transiting the Suez Canal and passing the coasts of Yemen and Somalia came to be the only effective deterrent to pirate attacks, so too there was a need to have somewhere to store all the guns and ammunition they would need. Since few countries would allow such heavily tooled-up foreign citizens waltzing around, a series of floating armouries – essentially old ships at anchor in international waters – sprang up. Unfortunately, now that the threat of piracy in the region has largely subsided, spelling financial disaster for many private maritime security firms, there is now something like 15,000 unwanted guns and 4m bullets in the area… what to do with them all?

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  • Martyn Benson

    November 04, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    This article is written by an involved party with an axe to grind and is taking the extreme example of the worst case scenario (Advanfort and their dubious owner have a chequered history and many disgruntled former employees).
    I was employed at one PMSC which used the Red Sea platforms bit the weapons were fully licensed and did not have their serial numbers eradicated. The security operatives (euphemistically called consultants) had an issue of 70 rounds, so talk of millions of rounds of ammo and possible explosions is simply glamorising the industry to sound like some James Bond production.
    Let’s get the facts in perspective and take the emotion and hyperbole out of such an article.