Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Brits arrested in Somalia with ‘£2.2 million ransom for pirates’

Three Britons, One American, two Kenyans, have been arrested trying to smuggle a cash ransom of more than £2 million into Somalia to secure the release of two hijacked ships from pirates

The Telegraph  May 27, 2011

The Britons, who are among a group of six foreigners also understood to include two Kenyans and an American – were allegedly caught with $3.6 million in cash at the airport in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

Security sources told The Daily Telegraph that a private security firm, Salama Fikira, with a presence in neighbouring Kenya and Mauritius and ties to retired British military personnel, was involved in the operation. The British men were named by security sources as Andrew Oaks and Alex James from Salama Fikira and Mathew Brown from an aviation company.

The firm offers maritime crisis response resolution as one of its services. A spokesman for Salama Fikira declined to comment.

Somali police intercepted the six foreign nationals on Tuesday after they landed in Mogadishu in two unmarked planes.

A source told The Telegraph that the ransom was to be used to secure the release of two vessels, the Egyptian-owned MV Suez and the Chinese-owned MV Yuan Xiang.

Nick Davies, a maritime security expert with experience with Somali piracy cases, said those taken would most likely be private security agents but the route they had chosen was not one commonly used in the industry.

“It will be a risk consultancy-type operation and typically the guys doing it would be very experienced, military guys that have a clear understanding of the tasks they are going to be undertaking,” he said. “The arrests were probably down to an information leak that caught them out, not the way they were doing it or where they were going because it’s a regular thing.”

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May 26, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Pirates, Private Security Contractor, Somalia | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lawmakers bar Us Troops or Private Security Contractors from operating on the ground in Libya

AFP at Google  May 26, 2011

In an overwhelming 416-5 vote, lawmakers barred US troops or private security contractors from operating on the ground in Libya, where rebels are fighting a fierce war against loyalist forces to oust longtime leader Moamer Kadhafi, except to rescue a US service member from “imminent danger.”

May 26, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Libya, Private Security Contractor | , | Leave a comment

Bomb kills eight NATO troops in southern Afghanistan, seven are Americans

BBC Southeast Asia  May 26, 2011

The incident is the deadliest single attack on foreign troops in a month. Nato initially confirmed the deaths but declined to disclose the nationalities.

Earlier, a Nato helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing one soldier, officials said.

Almost 200 foreign troops have been killed by militants in Afghanistan so far this year.

Tafsir Khogyani, commander of the border police for southern Afghanistan, told the BBC’s Bilal Sarwary in Kabul: “According to our initial information, Coalition and Afghan police went to destroy a Taliban container which had some explosives and weapons. As soon as the helicopter landed and other Isaf forces were patrolling, the explosion took place.

“It took place in Shorabak district 19km (12 miles) from the Pakistani border.”

Shorabak district lies between the districts of Registan and Spin Boldak.

Spin Boldak police chief Gen Abdul Raziq told the BBC that insurgents had been cleared from the area only two months ago.

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May 26, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, NATO, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , | Leave a comment

Detention centre group Serco to run army bases

The Daily Telegraph Australia  May 27, 2011

THE federal government is believed to have signed a contract to outsource the management of defence base operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan to the foreign company running Australia’s immigration detention centres.

Sources claim there was concern within the Australian Defence Force about a private foreign company taking over behind-the-wire operations to support troops in Afghanistan. The ADF said it would announce the successful contractor shortly but would not confirm if that company was Serco.

Serco, which is run by David Campbell, would neither confirm nor deny it had been given the contract.

It is believed the multi-million-dollar contract will be to manage all base operations including catering, cleaning, asset hire and mess facilities at the Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.

Foreign private contractors would also replace uniformed personnel in the provision of maintenance, accommodation and mess services for the first time in Kandahar and Tarin Kowt in Afghanistan.

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May 26, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ratko Mladic arrested: Bosnia war crimes suspect held

BBC News Europe  May 26, 2011

Ratko Mladic, wanted for genocide during the Bosnian war in the 1990s, has been arrested in Serbia.

Serbian President Boris Tadic said the process to extradite the former Bosnian Serb army chief to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague was under way.

Gen Mladic, 69, was found in a village in northern Serbia where had been living under an assumed name.

He faces charges over the massacre of at least 7,500 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.

He was the most prominent Bosnian war crimes suspect at large since the arrest of Radovan Karadzic in 2008.

The detention, the Serbian leader said, closed a chapter in Serbian history, bringing the country and the region closer to reconciliation. It also opened the doors to membership of the European Union, he added.

Serbian media initially reported that Mr Mladic was already on his way to the Hague, but Serbian prosecutors later said the procedure to extradite him might take a week.

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May 26, 2011 Posted by | Balkans, Legal Jurisdictions | , , | Leave a comment